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National carrier Air India is expected to be privatised by the end of May-June this year, Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on March 27.

The minister said that “at a meeting on March 22, it was decided that the government will close the financial bids for Air India within 64 days.” He added that there were multiple bidders and some have been shortlisted.

Disinvestment in other Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like Pawan Hans is also under process, the minister added.

“Air India is still in debt of Rs 60,000 crores and it is liable to be sold,” Puri said.

The minister also said that the second wave of COVID-19 has delayed airlines being allowed to operate 100 per cent that was planned to happen from the start of the summer schedule this month-end. But for now, there are no questions to curtail the domestic operations, he added.

He further said that flights are the safest mode to travel, adding that the authorities have taken cognisance for defaulters who are not following COVID-19 protocol on board.

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