Saturday, July 19, 2014

Exclusive! Who is merging with whom in Indian aviation?

Neelam Mathews
July 19, 2014

If you thought the end of losses for airlines operating in India was history, you might want to think again. So volatile is the situation that with the possible start of giant Tata-SIA soon, even Jet-Etihad has realized it cannot be silent anymore. A press briefing called next week will have both Naresh Goyal and James Hogan addressing us mere mortals. Don’t bash me up for this, but besides the fact they are expected to inform us on how the India market figures in their strategy, we are hearing a buzz that they might even announce the acquisition of a large ailing budget airline (SpiceJet?) that is suffering from TDS and service tax payment defaults. However, AerospaceDiary could not confirm this.  Just reporting a buzz! Moreover, that is where, we suspect a blog differs from a newspaper report. Taking a bit of editorial leverage here!
Air India has joined Star Alliance and that might give it a temporary relief as it adds more codeshares to its portfolio- read- more revenue. While this may not be viewed by competitors as something that eats into their business, today, every morsel counts. Let us look at the aviation scenario that the budget chose to ignore. Barring those 200 airports, which could give the regional airlines a push- if there was a policy!), God alone knows, when both will see the light of day.
We are also hearing another airline, Air One, has got its NOC. So, another issue to add to the woes of Indian aviation. Does that reaffirm our theory of consolidation in the business? We think so.

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