The government on Wednesday deferred the operationalisation of Air India's joint venture with a Singapore-based company for ground and cargo handling in Mumbai and Delhi airports for six months.
"The operationalisation of Air India-SATS joint venture has been deferred for six months," a Civil Ministry official told PTI on Wednesday.
Lack of preparedness to work together is primarily the reason for deferment, the official said, adding that "security is also one of the issues behind the decision."
The government had announced that ground handling at Delhi and Mumbai would be handed over to the JV partners, Air India and Singapore Airports Terminal Services (SATS), from January 1.
Air India and SATS had in 2007 floated a joint venture to handle the ground handling and cargo facilities at the new Bangalore Airport.
However, the JV in ground handling is being opposed by the NACIL unions on the ground that such an arrangement poses security threat.
The Union had even threatened to go on strike in the eventuality of government going ahead with its plan.
The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), an apex body of the domestic air-carriers, is also understood to have expressed its reservations on the issue in its recent meeting in Mumbai.