AviationGovernment vows national airline won’t be sold off cheaply

Air India splits with Sabre GDS

Indian government says it will not shut down Air India.
Indian government says it will not shut down Air India. Photo Credit: Boeing

SOUTHLAKE, Texas – Air India will no longer distribute its content through the Sabre GDS despite vigorous efforts by Sabre to continue its 20-year relationship with the airline.

Kristin Hays, vice president – global communications for Sabre, said, “We have worked with Air India for the better part of a year to reach a new agreement, in anticipation of the existing contract expiring and after receiving a termination notice from the carrier.

“Unfortunately, after extensive negotiations, we have been unable to come to a new agreement.

“Our teams will continue to work with Air India to finalise an agreement that meets the needs of Sabre, Air India and travel buyers.”

Meanwhile, India‘s Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has vowed that he won’t give away the national airline on a “sizzling platter”.

“The government will make money,” the minister said ahead of the imminent release of expression of interest (EoI) documents for the proposed privatisation of the loss-making carrier.

“Air India is a good asset, but the debt of the airline is not sustainable,” the minister said.

He also described Air India as “a national asset” and added, “We want an Indian entity to acquire it for strategic objectives.”

Mr Puri said that the government would not shut down Air India and it was confident that investors would be found for the airline.

“The Maharaja is a great brand, owns 120 aircraft, half of which are owned and the rest leased. It runs a large number of domestic routes and flies to 40-50 international destinations,” the minister added.

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