Jet-Etihad come closer, EY buys 9W’s LHR slots

Jet and Etihad have been known to be trying to make a deal since September 2012. Speculation about this deal came out about that time period, since when the deal moved towards closure. At this moment, we heard there is a little stall, with Etihad being worried about the Indian Government’s policies on aviation. The backroom also said there was difference of opinion on how the management of the airline and its board was supposed to be organised. This led to 9W’s faresale last week to generate cash as a precautionary measure.

However, looks like things are falling in place now. To tide over the current difficulties, Jet Airways has concluded a deal yesterday, to sell its 3 airport slots at London Heathrow to Etihad Airways for an amount of $70 million. As per Reuters, this is a sale and leaseback measure, where Jet Airways will continue to operate their 3 flights to London (2 from Mumbai, 1 from Delhi), as earlier, but Etihad will own these slots. Here is an excerpt:

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad has already paid a “token” amount of $70 million and will likely pay $400 million in the first tranche of the deal, the channel reported.

Etihad said the deal to buy slots was a part of a “sale and lease-back” agreement, and Jet would continue to operate flights to London using those slots.

While I was expecting the deal to come to a close in the last year itself, this did not happen. Now, it looks like talks are back on track and things will move forward in the days to come. I’ll be waiting for things to be back to good at my primary airline again, and hopefully, soon!

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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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  1. IMHO this is a myopic and desperate move from 9W.. EY will be gobbling up 9W’s most prized assets and will essentially transform 9W to AUH feeder.. not sure whats going to happen to 9Ws 777s!
    EYs Dinars are starting to do the talking now 😛

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