The Indian Government, on Monday, called for bids to acquire loss-making national carrier, Air India, in which it holds a 100-per-cent stake.
The development comes after an initial attempt to sell a majority stake in the airline failed to draw a single bid in 2018.
The airline is saddled with a total debt of over $8 billion as well as huge accumulated losses.
The government owns the airline and its subsidiary Air India Express.
However, the government set March 17 as the deadline for potential buyers to submit expressions of interest.
The result would be made known by March 31.
The total debt of Air India and Air India Express to be absorbed by the new buyer is 232 billion rupees ($3.3 billion).
The remaining debt will be shouldered by the government.
According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has drawn up plans to sell stakes in major government-owned entities to shore up public finances and meet its fiscal deficit target for 2020.
India is expected to become the third-largest aviation market by 2024, behind China and the U.S., driven by economic growth and increasing travel and tourism in the South Asian country. (dpa/NAN)