Government To Sell Air India's Building After A Plan To Sell State Carrier Failed To Attract Buyers

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New Delhi: The government is planning selling Air India's building on the Marine drive as well as ground handling and aircraft maintenance units after a plan to sell the ailing state carrier failed to attract buyers.

Union Minister NitinGadkari has said that Air India's 23-storey building at Nariman Point will be sold to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to keep the ownership of what was once the carrier's headquarters with the government.

Gadkari said while the valuation of the building will be worked out between the ministries of civil aviation and shipping, the building after the same would continue to be called 'Air India' with the carrier's emblem, which is visible from the Arabian Sea.

The building, which was the airline's headquarters till February 2013 before it was vacated as part of its asset-monetisation plan, is considered as a prime property and expected to fetch high valuations.

"There was talk about selling the building. I said to (civil aviation ministry) don't sell it. We live in Mumbai, it is our icon. The emblem of Air India can be seen from the sea. It is a matter of our pride. They said we don't have money to pay employees.

"I told them you decide the price, I will ask JNPT to buy it. The building should remain with the government. Both the secretaries will sit together and decide the value and we will pay for it," Gadkari said.

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