Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tatas' aviation business may take off after change in cockpit

Mumbai: Ratan Tata’s surprise re-entry as chairman of Tata Sons may give a fillip to the conglomerate’s aviation business, an industry he dearly loves and had tried hard to enter, but which became part of the portfolio only after he retired.
Industry experts reckon former chairman Cyrus Mistry didn’t have the aviation business as one of his priorities, though he took prudent decisions for both airline ventures.
Tata Sons owns 49% in AirAsia India, a joint venture with Malaysian low-fare carrier AirAsia Berhad, which started operations in June 2014. It also owns 51% in Vistara, a venture with Singapore Airlines that took off in January last year.
“Return of Ratan Tata will signal a renewed focus and interest on aviation,” said Mark Martin, who runs Dubai-based Martin Consulting LLC. Martin said that with Tata in control, even if for a brief period, there’s likely to be “increased focus on steering investments toward AirAsia and Vistara”.
Mahantesh Sabarad, deputy vice president, research at SBI Caps Securities, said, “Aviation was never Mistry’s choice sector. It was always Ratan Tata’s dream and it was he who steered it as much as he could.”
26/10/16 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times