Sep 20 2012
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Etihad Lauds India Potential; Report Says Airline in Talks to Buy Jet Airways Stake
Thursday, Sep 20, 2012
MUMBAI--India's aviation industry offers tremendous potential, with significant passenger movement on both domestic and international sectors, a spokesperson for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said Thursday.
The person added that the airline has "identified equity investments in other airlines," but didn't mention any Indian carriers in this context.
The comments come in response to a recent decision by the Indian government to allow foreign airlines to buy up to 49% of Indian carriers.
The two sides have held several rounds of discussions, the first of which took place at Jet's office in Mumbai before the venue shifted to Abu Dhabi, said the newspaper, citing three unnamed sources.
The report said also that Jet wants itself to be valued at $800 million, but that Etihad is offering much less. Jet executives couldn't be reached for comment.
A separate report by the Times of India said Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd is keen on picking up a stake in an Indian carrier.
The report quoted the airline's chief executive, Tony Fernandes, as saying that AirAsia will make statements "in due course."
The report added that Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. (J7X.SG), Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) and easyJet PLC (ESYJY) are others interested in picking up stakes in Indian carriers.
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