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Jet airways-Kingfisher on clash with Etihad

Mumbai, Dec 17 () : Jet Airways might upset Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallya’s birthday bash on Dec 18.

The birthday bash was supposed to announce the buying of 38% stake in Kingfisher by Etihad and infusing Rs 3500 cr into the airline. As per latest reports, Etihad might buy 29% in Jet instead of Kingfisher. The fact that KF has not been airborne since October and with rising debts, Jet which is cutting losses and has routes to West Asia might be the cause behind Etihad’s decision.

India allows 49% foreign direct investment(FDI) airline and 100% investment by NRI.

Jet airways consultancy firm Ernst and Young and Price Waterhouse Coopers Pvt. Ltd is advising Etihad,the Abu Dhabi-based airline on the deal.

If due diligence is done, President,CEO Etihad Airways James Hogan, would plump for KF since his airline was not looking at only a minority stake. He said a take over was not on his mind. Jet has offered 29% stake and a director board member to Etihad. Sources say aviation ministry and DGCA have got letters from Jet.

In an another development, Emirates Airlines renewed its partnership with Jet Airways (India) Ltd. Frequent flyers on the Dubai-based airline can now avail same benefits on its five daily direct flights as they availed on the Jet Airways daily service between Mumbai and Dubai. Jet Airways’ flight passengers on Gulf sectors will be have 9W code and also the Emirates EK code.

Emirates now has 35 flights a week to and from Dubai, connecting 126 destinations in 74 countries. Though there is a signal of a tie-up with Jet, Kingfisher might still clinch the deal with Etihad. Government sources suggest that Etihad might plump for Jet since its track record is better than KF and also its rumoured that Jet is a benami of D Company based in Dubai. Monday /Tuesday could be an important day for Indian aviation.