Gulf carrier Etihad Airways might sell its entire stake in Jet Airways by the third quarter of next financial year, aviation think tank CAPA said.
Etihad has been invested in Jet Airways since April 2013 when it acquired 24 per cent equity for around Rs 2,069 crore and there have been speculations that the Abu Dhabi-based carrier is likely to sell the stake.
“CAPA research indicates Etihad may divest its 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, possibly by Q3 of FY 2019. This could lead to a rationalisation of capacity between India and the Gulf, particularly Abu Dhabi,” CAPA India said.
When contacted, a Jet Airways spokesperson said that as a policy, the airline does not comment on speculation.
There was no immediate comment from Etihad.
In September 2017, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal had scotched rumours about Etihad exiting the airline.
“We have no plans to sell stake to another investor. Also, our partner Etihad has no intention to exit their investment in Jet Airways,” Goyal had said.
Later in November while announcing its new enhanced cooperation agreement with the Air France-KLM Group, Goyal had said the partnership with Etihad would not be disturbed.
“We’ve done well with Etihad and will continue to do so. There are 70-80 lakh Indians in the Gulf. Travel demand between India and the West will be both via the Gulf route and Europe, and also direct to Europe,” Goyal had said.
Whether the new partnership could lead to investments in Jet from the European airlines group, Goyal had said, “one does not know what happens in future.”