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Finance ministry says no decision on Air India sale after report cites Tata Sons as winner

The finance ministry has termed reports suggesting the government has picked a winning bid for the debt-laden state-run airline Air India as incorrect.

A Bloomberg report claimed that a panel of ministers accepted a proposal from officials recommending salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Sons ahead of an offer from Ajay Singh, promoter of India's airline operator Spicejet Ltd.

"Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by Government of India in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect," the ministry said in a tweet. "Media will be informed of the Government decision as and when it is taken."

Air India and Tata Sons declined to comment.

The finance ministry said it had received bids for the airline, but did not name the bidders. The winning bidder would win control of Air India's 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas, including London's Heathrow Airport.

It would also get 100% of the low-cost arm Air India Express and 50% of AISATS, which provides cargo and ground handling services at major Indian airports.


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