Etihad buys Jet’s 3 slots at Heathrow

Deal valued at $70 mn; Jet stocks soar 19%

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: February 28, 2013 12:31:27 am

In a move that could be seen as a step towards its proposed investment plans in Jet Airways,Etihad Airways on Wednesday announced it has paid $70 million (Rs 374 crore at Rs 54 to a dollar) for three slots of the Indian carrier at Heathrow airport in London.

“Etihad Airways can confirm that it has concluded a transaction with Jet to purchase Jet’s three pairs of Heathrow slots for $70 million. The purchase is part of a sale and lease back agreement signed on February 26,2013,” Etihad said in a statement.

The airline added that Jet Airways will continue to operate flights to London utilising these slots.

With this announcement,stocks of Jet Airways that has been on a fall for a few days jumped 19.27 per cent during the day’s trade to close at Rs 534.85 on the BSE on Wednesday.

Etihad also said that they are in talks with Jet Airways on a proposed stake sale by the later. “As previously advised,Etihad Airways continues to progress discussions about further investment in Jet Airways,” said the statement.

As reported,Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways is likely to sell 24 per cent stake in Etihad for around Rs 1,600 crore.

Talks on the deal,which started in September last year,hit a hurdle with the Abu Dhabi-based airline saying that it wanted to relook at its investment plan in the Indian carrier. The reason given for the relook were concerns over investing in the Indian market.

If the deal materialises,this will be second case of foreign direct investment in the domestic aviation sector after Malaysian carrier AirAsia announced to launch an airline in the country with Tatas and Telestra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia.

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