Indian government scraps bid for Pawan Hans


The Indian government has closed the private share offering of helicopter operator Pawan Hans (Wind Swan) after failing to attract bidders.

The country’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has withdrawn its preliminary information memorandum (PIM) to privatise the state-owned helicopter operator. The Indian government was seeking private bidders to purchase its 51% share in the Pawan Hans.

On the Ministry’s website, a statement was issued saying: “With reference to the captioned subject, the ‘Preliminary Information Memorandum for inviting Expression of Interest’ issued on 13th October 2017 has been cancelled. Further details in this regard will be issued shortly on this website.”

The PIM was opened-up in October last year but failed to attract enough bidders, the Business Standard reported.

Pawan Hans is based out of the Juhu Aerodrome in Vile Parle, Mumbai. It has logged more than one million flight hours, mainly on offshore oil and gas missions.

The operator is a joint venture between the Indian government, which owns 51% stake in the company and oil and gas firm ONGC which owns 49%.

Last week, Pawan Hans announced that it is looking to fly regional passenger flights as part of the Indian government’s regional connectivity scheme. Dehli’s first certified helipad was also opened in February as part of the scheme.

Fatal Fleets

Last month, pilots flying Pawan Hans helicopters for the ONGC wrote a public letter to the ONGC chairman, calling the Panwan Hans helicopters “flying coffins” and expressing their fear in continuing to fly the helicopters – according to the Indian Express.

The letter was prompted after five ONGC officials and two Pawan Hans pilots died in a Dauphin N3 crash off the coast of Mumbai in January.

Pawan Hans currently operates a fleet of around 40 aircraft, including Dauphin A365Ns, Bell 407s and Mi-172s.