Monday, February 05, 2007

Tatas rule out entry into airline business

New Delhi:Tata Group chief Ratan Tata indicated on Sunday that the Group does not want to enter the airline business now. The comment is significant since it virtually rules out the chances of Tatas taking over SpiceJet, a low-cost airline, in which the Group picked up 6% stake recently.
“I am still very keen on aviation, but aviation as a sector. I have been keen on airlines also, but today, I am also one of the people who say that we do not want to be in the airline business at this time,” Mr Tata said in a television interview.
The remark indicates a major change in Mr Tata’s thinking since the time the Group unsuccessfully bid for Air-India in collaboration with Singapore Airlines. The Tata Group had also tried launching a domestic airline in joint venture with Singapore Airlines but this attempt too did not succeed.
The buzz about Tatas entering the airline business got louder recently since SpiceJet had offered the Group representation on the low-cost carrier’s board. Industry sources said that the Tatas have not accepted the offer. The Group does not plan to pick up more stake in the airline, they added.
05/02/07 Times of India