Friday, October 25, 2013

Ratan Tata meets Anand Sharma post FIPB nod for airline venture

NEW DELHI: With the FIPB giving approval to the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture to start a full-service carrier, Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata today met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.

Tata was accompanied by Singapore Airlines (SIA) CEO Goh Choon Phong and Tata SIA Airlines Chairman Prasad Menon.

While Tata declined to comment, sources in the ministry said the meeting was a courtesy call.

Yesterday, Tata along with Phong had also met Finance Minister P Chidambaram after the FIPB cleared the venture.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave its green signal to Singapore Airlines to start a full-service airline in partnership with Tata Sons entailing an initial foreign investment of USD 49 million.

This is Tatas\' second venture in the aviation sector after its tie-up with Malaysian carrier Air Asia in February for a low cost passenger air service.

Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram had stated that there were no riders set for the joint venture.

While Singapore Airlines plans to invest USD 49 million, Tatas would be contributing remaining amount of the total planned USD 100 million investment in the joint venture.

The joint venture needs other government approvals before it can start operations.

To be called Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, the venture would be headquartered in Delhi.

The two had assured the government that control of their proposed venture would always remain in Indian hands, while seeking approval to offer full-service passenger airways on both domestic and international routes. Of the six directors, four would be nominated by the Tatas.
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