In what would be the first such investment by a foreign carrier in an Indian airline since rules were relaxed last year, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways is reportedly expected to finalise a deal to buy a stake in Jet Airways on Friday, January 25. The Gulf carrier could shell upto $330 million for acquiring 24% stake in Jet, country's second-biggest carrier. For Jet, the deal means fresh infusion of capital to cut down its debt and could also lead to rationalisation of its long haul network.
The two carriers have already entered into a code-share agreement for Abu Dhabi-Mumbai/Delhi routes operated by Jet Airways, and the flights originating from Abu Dhabi for Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai and Hyderabad operated by Etihad. Code-sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless transport to multiple destinations where it has no presence.
Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 99 aircraft, which include 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 11 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 58 next generation Boeing 737-700/800/900 aircraft and 20 modern ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft.