New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The Centre on Friday dismissed media reports which claimed that Tata Sons have won the bid for Air India. In a statement, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management clarified that it will inform the media about the bidding of Air India once a decision is taken.

"Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by Government of India in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect. Media will be informed of the Government decision as and when it is taken," it said.

Earlier in the day, several media reports had claimed that Tata Sons have won the bid for Air India, the state-owned national airline. The reports claimed that Centre's Group of Ministers (GoM) led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah headed had approved the winning bid for the national airline.

The reports said that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia were also the members of the committee.

Air India was founded by the Tata Group in October 1932. The Centre later nationalised the airline in 1953.

The Central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been pushing to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.

The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials have said.

An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease the terms. It had also extended the deadline multiple times due to the pandemic.

The Tata Group was among the multiple entities that had put in an initial expression of interest in December 2020 for Air India. The Tata Group currently operates a premier full-service carrier, Vistara, in collaboration with Singapore Airlines.

Air India has been in losses ever since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta