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Ambanis buying into Jet Airways?
BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi | September 24, 2003 08:39 IST
The Reliance group is believed to be in talks with the management of Jet Airways for an alliance, which could involve the Ambanis picking up equity in India's largest private airline, led by Chairman Naresh Goyal.
Sources close to the developments said while the final contours of the plan had not been decided as yet, Reliance could pick up equity, but leave the management control of the airline to Goyal.
While Reliance and Jet executives could not be reached for comments, the sources said an alternative scenario could be the Ambanis financing the fleet expansion of Jet without picking up any equity.
Jet has a fleet comprising 40 aircraft (30 Boeing 737s and 8 ATRs). The airline has, however, shelved its expansion plan as the average load factor has stagnated at around 60-65 per cent for quite some time now.
Jet executives said the existing overcapacity situation left no room for any expansion.
"Our future fleet acquisition plan would depend on how the market develops during the year," they said.
Air Sahara recently announced a plan to treble its fleet size. Indian Airlines is also likely to acquire 43 new aircraft for Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion).