The government of India has planned to complete the sale of Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL), the national carrier’s ground handling subsidiary, by March 2019.

Air India is currently facing a debt burden of over ₹50,000 crore; therefore, the government is planning to sell off the non-core subsidiaries of the airline to reduce the load.

A source told PTI “We are looking to conclude the strategic sale of Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL) in current fiscal. We will soon invite bids from merchant bankers for managing the sale process.”

The sale proceeds will contribute to the government’s disinvestment kitty. Up until now, the government has raised over Rs 15,200 crore from CPSE stake sale.

This strategic sale plan has come after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with a group of ministers decided to cut down debt and raise resources by selling land assets and other subsidiaries of Air India.