Jet-Etihad deal may be delayed due to petition in SC

File Photo
File Photo

Mumbai, Sep 17 (PTI): Jet Airways may have to extend the September deadline for completion of its proposed 24 per cent stake sale to gulf carrier Etihad with BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging the Rs 2,058 crore deal in Supreme Court.

With Swamy filing a petition in the apex court, it would be difficult for Jet Airways to meet the September deadline for the completion of the stake sale deal with Etihad, industry sources said. The deadline earlier was July 31 which was extended to September 30.

Swamy, in his petition filed yesterday, has also challenged the air service agreement between India and Abu Dhabi, approved recently by the Cabinet. It allows the airlines of the two sides to operate 50,000 seats a week by 2015, up from 13,300 at present.

In a voluminous petition, Swamy has also sought a CBI probe against the government officials who had cleared the Jet-Etihad deal, which is to be cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Jet officials, including chief executive Gary Toomey did not respond to text messages. Ahead of government clearances, Jet has already started giving imprints of Etihad on its management team.

It has moved its head of network planning and revenue management Anita Goyal, wife of promoter Naresh Goyal, to an advisory role.

Jet has also brought in its group executive officer and incharge of the Gulf market, Abdulrahman Albusaidy, to the key position of Chief Strategy Officer after its Vice President (Commercial Strategy and Investor Relations) K G Vishwanath put in his papers recently.

In the first ever investment by a foreign airline in an Indian carrier, Jet Airways had on April 24 announced plans to sell 24 per cent equity to Etihad Airways for about Rs 2,058 crore, as part of a strategic alliance that would lead to a major expansion in their global network.



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