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Didn't approach Govt on takeover: Jet

The Jet officials had said they would have to renegotiate dates for merger.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 22:41 IST

Two months after announcing a deal to takeover Air Sahara, the biggest in India's aviation history, Jet Airways on Monday said the company had not yet approached the government for merging the rival airline with itself.

Jet officials had earlier said they would have to renegotiate the dates for merger, if the government's approval was not received within 65 days of the signing the Rs 2,300 crore deal on January 19, 2006 between Jet Airways and Air Sahara.

"Jet Airways wishes to clarify and confirm that it has not made any application to the Government of India for the merger of Jet Airways and Air Sahara," the company statement said.

Earlier this week, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had also revealed in Parliament that no proposal has been received as yet.

The Air Sahara deal would push Jet's domestic market share to over 45 per cent, which raised concerns of monopoly.

The official also said that the company was not expecting a "major delay" in getting government approval.

"Jet Airways regrets the statements made by one of its senior executives regarding pending government approvals and re-negotiation of the agreement between Jet Airways and Air Sahara," the statement said.

On March 14, Patel had said in the Rajya Sabha that no application has been received.

Dipankar Mukherjee of CPI-M had wondered how the government was ignorant about it when the Chairman of Indian Airlines has sought allocation of the infrastructural support, including land of Sahara for the state-owned airlines, following reports of Jet Airways-Sahara merger.

Reacting to the Mukherjee's observations, Patel said the government had not received any formal proposal for the merger of the two airlines.

"We are not insensitive. We have read it in media. There is a possibility of such a situation," he said when asked whether land and other support would be transferred to Indian Airlines in the event of a takeover.

"Therefore, the government will, in the best of international practice, try to come out with guidelines," he had.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 22:07 IST