Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ajit Singh snubs AI's concerns over Jet Etihad deal


New Delhi/Mumbai: Air India’s (AI) plea raising concerns over Jet-Etihad deal found no favour with the civil aviation minister Ajit Singh. However, the minister’s views are in complete variance with the bureaucracy of the aviation ministry which favours that AI’s interest should not be compromised from the deal.
In a letter to the civil aviation secretary, AI Chairman and Managing director (CMD) Rohit Nandan had raised concerns over the potential threat to the airline from Jet-Etihad deal.
Naresh Goyal promoted Jet airways is expected to soon announce a deal of 24% stake sale at over $300 million to Abu Dhabi based Etihad airways. The management of the gulf carrier is meeting Anand Sharma, commerce minister and Ajit Singh, civil aviation minister.
AI had expressed through the letter that allowing investments by foreign airlines will hurt the interests of domestic airlines and prevent Indian airports from developing into international hubs. It also added that Jet’s flights to Abu Dhabi could be used to funnel passengers from India headed for the US and Europe, according to two government officials who declined to be named.
30/01/13 Disha Kanwar & Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard