Sunday, October 30, 2016

With Ratan Tata back in pilot's seat, tailwind likely for airline ventures

As family patriarch Ratan Tata takes back the controls at his conglomerate after a boardroom coup this week, one sector is cheering his, albeit interim, return: the group's airline ventures, both lagging competitors in the domestic cut-throat market.
Industry executives and analysts say they expect loss-making Vistara and AirAsia India, both part-owned by Tata, to enjoy fresh cash and expansion plans as low fuel prices and Indian government policy drive a boom in air travel.

"Now he's back, we'll see him taking aggressive steps," said Mark D Martin, chief executive at Martin Consulting, adding this could include growing other ventures such as Taj Air, a charter company also owned by the Tata group.

Tata Sons, the parent controlling Tata's listed businesses, has said Ratan Tata's return from retirement is temporary, and denied the move would mean any extra focus on the airlines - other than for business reasons. "Both businesses are completely focused on enhancing their market positions," a spokesman said.
29/10/16 Reuters/DNA