Tata Group shows interest in Jet Airways assets
The Tata Group plans to bid for some assets of Jet Airways as it undergoes bankruptcy resolution, said people with knowledge of the matter.
Jet Airways had told bankers as much when they sought to interest the group in a rescue plan before the carrier was sent to the bankruptcy court. The focus for the Tata Group will be assets it can use to step up and tap the space created by the exit of Jet, officials said.
“We were reluctant when it was on the books of the company. Now that it’s with NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal), one can look at the bilateral rights and whatever is available in terms of the fleet to quickly grow our business,” said one of the persons. “There is no value in buying the company anyway.”
The Tata Group had withdrawn from talks for a possible acquisition in November 2018. The board of group holding company Tata Sons advised caution due to worries over the Jet Airways liabilities and ownership.
The company has a strong presence in aviation through budget airline AirAsia India Pvt Ltd and full-service carrier Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.
Vistara recently obtained government approval to launch international flights. It currently operates 730 flights a week to 24 cities in the country using a fleet of 23 single-aisle Airbus A320 and six Boeing 737s earlier flown by Jet.
Vistara has been slow to expand and currently running just 5% of the domestic market. It has approvals to start international operations to Singapore, Bangkok, and Dubai. It has stalled plans to start maiden international flights to Colombo.