ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Tata, Singapore Airlines join hands to fly again
Publication Date : 20-09-2013
Eighteen years after its failed attempt, Tata group yesteday joined hands again with Singapore Airlines again to start a new full-service airline in India.
Tata Sons, the holding company of most of the operating firms of the Tata group, today signed an MoU with Singapore Airline under which it will own 51 per cent stake in the proposed carrier. The rest will be with Singapore Airlines.
The group, which had in February announced a partnership with Malaysia's Air Asia for a low-cost carrier in India, said it has applied for approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to establish the new airline which will be based here in the Capital.
The initial board of the new carrier will have three members, two nominated by Tata Sons and one nominated by Singapore Airlines.
The chairman will be Prasad Menon, nominated by Tata Sons.
This is the third attempt by the partners to enter the Indian civil aviation sector. In 1995, they had applied to FIPB for a full service airline, which was cleared a year later but the venture never took off due to a change in the civil aviation policy in 1997 that barred foreign carriers from holding stake in domestic airlines.
The deal did not come through and years later former chairman Ratan Tata had remarked that that the deal failed because the group refused to bribe a union minister. The government last year changed policy to allow up to 49 per cent foreign investment in domestic airlines.
Commenting on the development, Menon said: “We are delighted that we are partnering in this endeavour with the world renowned Singapore Airlines.”
Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner Tata Sons in contributing to the future expansion of the market.”