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For a successful bid, IndiGo will have to buy out either the worldwide or the entire airline operations of Air India, without a partnership with the government, Gangwal and Bhatia told analysts.

He said that the airline's interest in acquiring a stake in Air India arose out of its plans to operate low-priced long-haul flights out of India. "And more specifically, we are focused more narrowly on Air India's worldwide operations and Air India Express", co-founder Rahul Bhatia told investors.

Sharing the company's plans were co-founders Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal in a conference call with investors and analysts on 6 July.

Mr. Bhatia said acquiring all of Air India's businesses and subsidiaries would be a "Herculean" and 'impossible task.' "Quite simply, we are interested in the airline operations of Air India".

"But we can't take on all the liabilities and debt that Air India has".

The conference call follows IndiGo's expression of interest to New Delhi for Air India's global operations on 30 June, after the government gave its in-principle approval for the divestment of the flag carrier.

The launch took place at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the presence of Charge de Affairs of US Embassy Marykay Loss Carlson, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, Commercial Director of Air India Pankaj Shrivastava with other airline officials.

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"If the deal does fructify, management will need to make significant efforts to replicate IndiGo's operational efficiency at Air India, which will continue to be burdened by legacy issues", Citigroup's Mumbai-based analyst Arvind Sharma wrote in the note.

Air India's businesses include domestic flights, fix and maintenance operations and hotels.

"[Air India's worldwide operations] would provide rapid entry into restricted, and in some cases, closed global markets. India's market is significantly underserved in non-stop global destinations", he said, adding that IndiGo would do so with a low-priced model.

"We're interested mostly in Air India's worldwide operations and Air India Express (a low-priced subsidiary on short-haul global routes)". "However, that got pre-empted due to the government's in principle decision to divest itself of Air India", Gangwal said. Air India already operates to New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco.

Air India's market share in domestic market has fallen to 14% in 10 years from 35% a decade ago, placing it third in the national ranking, behind Indigo, which commands about 40% of Indian skies, and Jet Airways, which has about 16% of the share. "Specifically, because of our large domestic network, we are well positioned to capture this massive and growing global traffic", Gangwal said.

Gangwal pointed out that "just like" the low-cost model disrupted the short-haul, full-service legacy carriers starting a few decades ago, the worldwide long-haul markets are now ready for the right type of low cost operations.

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