Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) is hoping to raise as much as INR5 billion (USD76.9 million) from land sales by the end of 2019, Deal Street Asia has reported.

The carrier is looking to sell land plots in prime locations in Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, among others. Some of the plots are owned by the airline while others are under long-term leases from the government. The Indian authorities will assist Air India with sales of the property not owned directly by the carrier.

Some of the plots have already attracted interest from private investors, the carrier has said.

The Indian government tasked Air India in 2012 to raise a total of INR50 billion from land monetisation by 2022. So far, the carrier has managed to sell plots for a total of INR4.45 billion. The process has been slowed down both by a complicated legal status of some of the properties, as well as by reportedly too high prices set by the Indian flag carrier.

Under the Narendra Modi government's plan to privatise Air India by the end of 2018, the whole Air India Group will be spun off into four units slated for acquisition. Air India together with Air India Express will form one company, Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l) another, while the other two will consist of the ground handling and the MRO units respectively. The group's debt not related to core operations together with the company's remaining land holdings, hotels, and other real estates will be hived off to a government-owned special purpose vehicle.