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Hussain in favour of divesting A-I, IA

December 13, 2002 12:31 IST

Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain has said he is 'totally in favour' of divesting Air-India and Indian Airlines, but asserted there are no buyers for them in the present depressed global aviation market.

The minister also said that he has 'no differences' with Divestment Minister Arun Shourie in this regard.

"I am not against divesting Indian Airlines and Air-India. I am totally in favour (of their divestment). I am ready to sell them but let there be a buyer. The day, divestment ministry decides it should be divested, then I will have no objection," Hussain said in the Court Martial programme on SAB TV conducted by Karan Thapar.

The minister said bids were earlier invited for privatising the two airlines but the September 11 terror attacks on the US had severely impacted the aviation market affecting the divestment process.

"Now the United Airlines is bankrupt. When September 11 happened, big airlines were forced to keep their planes in the desert due to lack of traffic. It is true if there is divestment now, no player will come," Hussain said.