Saturday, July 29, 2017

Foreign carriers eye stake in Jet Airways

New Delhi: Jet Airways' dominant position as the market leader of international travel to and from India has made a number of foreign airlines seek a stake in the carrier. European players like Air FranceKLM and Lufthansa - which have lost Indian traffic to Gulf players -and US carrier Delta are among the airlines, which are reportedly eyeing a stake in the Naresh Goyal-led carrier. An announcement is expected shortly.
Jet, which has code share agreement with AF-KLM and shifted its European hub to Amsterdam from Brussels earlier this year, could see its partnership with these European carriers strengthen in coming days. In mega inter-related aviation deals this week, Delta and China Eastern have each bought a 10% stake in AF-KLM and the European airline combine, in turn, has decided to buy 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic.
Having an Indian airline like Jet in this group - if Delta picks up a stake in it - will provide a foothold to the world's fastest growing aviation market that goes beyond code shares. Jet currently has code share for 43 cities in Europe and 15 in North America over Amsterdam and to 27 European and 14 North American cities over Paris.
When asked to comment, a Jet spokesman said: "Jet Airways enjoys and continues to develop its code share partnerships with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France, over its European gateways in Amsterdam and Paris, to cater to growing traffic flows to and from Europe and North America. As a policy, the airline does not comment on speculation." Sources said Jet, in which Abu Dhabi-based Etihad already has 24% stake, is being pursued for picking up equity by some airlines. "It could be AF-KLM, Lufthansa or Delta," said a source.
29/07/17 Times of India