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Swiss Aviation Consulting (SAC) shows interest in Air India

(Reuters) – Aviation advisory firm Swiss Aviation Consulting (SAC) has shown interest in bidding for India’s debt burdened state-run carrier Air India, the Economic Times newspaper quoted a senior aviation ministry official as saying.

The move, however, did not look serious and the Swiss company may only be scouting for clients, the newspaper said, citing industry experts.

Swiss Aviation Consulting offers services including aircraft asset management and sales and consultancy services on acquisitions, according to its website.

Air India and Swiss Aviation Consulting did not respond to emails seeking comment outside business hours.

Last week, top Indian carrier Interglobe Aviation Ltd, owner of the IndiGo brand, said was opting out of buying Air India because the terms set by the government were unfavorable. Tata Group and Turkey’s Celebi Aviation Holdings, have expressed interest in buying some of Air India’s operations.

The Indian government, which fully owns money-losing flag carrier Air India, put the company on the block late last month, seeking to sell a 76 percent stake.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet gave the go-ahead last year to sell Air India after successive governments spent billions of dollars to keep it solvent, but its debt load of about $8 billion and a bloated cost structure have made a sale difficult.

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