Over the last week, there have been whispers about international airlines showing interest in Air India, the government-owned company that is on its way to disinvestment.

This news follows homegrown budget airline IndiGo pulling out of the race. “From day one, IndiGo has expressed its interest primarily in the acquisition of Air India’s international operations and Air India Express. However, that option is not available under the Government’s current divestiture plans for Air India. Also, as we have communicated before, we do not believe that we have the capability to take on the task of acquiring and successfully turning around all of Air India’s airline operations,” said Aditya Ghosh, president and whole time director at IndiGo.

The government’s plans include selling a 76 per cent stake in Air India, 100 per cent stake in Air India Express (budget arm of Air India), and a 50 per cent stake in the airline’s ground handling that is a partnership between Air India and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (AISATS).

Earlier this morning, Financial Express reported that a source who has requested anonymity has divulged “that among the global carriers that have shown interest [in Air India] are German carrier Lufthansa, British Airways and Singapore Airlines besides a few West Asian and Southeast Asian airlines”.

Interested parties must send in their queries to the company on or before April 16 for the government to revert to all potential investors by April 30.