Jet Airways deal with Etihad Airways

News of a strategic partnership between the airlines has been discussed since September 2012, and of late the news is hitting the peak, also helping the stock price of the listed entity Jet Airways in the meanwhile.

While there was a lot of discussion earlier in the past week that grounded carrier Kingfisher was taking away the funding cake from Etihad, with the lollipop of handing out operational control to Etihad (along with a 46-49% equity stake), Kingfisher categorically denied the news. However, the board of Kingfisher airlines met last week as well, to limit investments by institutional investors to create space for an airline to take stake in it.

Remember, time is running out for KFA who may have no license to fly as of 31 December 2012. Vijay Mallya, chairman of the airline, was initially expected to make an announcement of a deal on 18 December 2012 in his birthday bash at Goa, but looks like that is not the case now.

In the meanwhile, the Etihad boardroom seems to be in favour of a deal with Jet Airways, where the stake will be smaller (at 24%), but at a premium. The airline is already in the air, has a reasonable amount of frequency to Abu Dhabi as well, and recently announced a new codeshare agreement where all flights to Paris on EY will be sold with the 9W code as well.

Unnamed sources of the blog confirm that a deal may be announced as soon as Monday (17 December 2012) since the airlines are now on the same page with valuations, but it is not done till its done, so we’ll see how Monday passes by for both the carriers.

In the meanwhile, lets hear from you…

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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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