Jet Airways high on Etihad deal hopes

Updated: January 29, 2013 13:01 IST

A delegation from the Abu Dhabi based carrier is scheduled to meet India's Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma later this week. The proposed meeting comes in the backdrop of talks held earlier this month. Accordingly Etihad is set to buy the stakes for up to Dollar330 million. The deal would make Jet the first to take advantage of rules introduced by the Manmohan Singh government in September last year to allow foreign carriers to buy stakes of up to 49% in Indian airlines. Jet is likely to scale down operations at its current international hub Brussels and move to Abu Dhabi. This will help increase its international reach and reduce the debt burden. The deal would also allow Etihad to tap the ninth-largest aviation market in the world, putting it in a better position to compete with Dubai-based rival Emirates. The UAE based carrier was reported to be eyeing a stake in the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines which has been grounded since October last year. The Mumbai headquartered Jet Airways now flies to 73 cities in India and 20 foreign destinations. Indian skies are on the radar of several carriers. Malaysia based Air Asia is also looking to take advantage of the liberalized investment policy, reports said.

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