Etihad Airways has completed its deal to buy a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, it was announced today.
The £248 million deal was formally approved by India’s foreign investment regulator in July (see news, July 30).
James Hogan and James Rigney, both nominee directors of Etihad Airways, have today been appointed as additional directors on the board at Jet Airways.
A statement from Etihad said: “All requisite Indian regulatory approvals had been obtained by November 12.”
Air links between the Gulf and India are now set to improve as a result.
Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet Airways, said: “The infusion of foreign direct investment in the aviation sector will result in economies of scale, grow traffic at our airports, and create job opportunities.
“I am confident that this investment will greatly benefit all our stakeholders whilst significantly benefitting our customers who will now have access to a more expanded global network.”
Foreign carriers are now permitted to buy stakes of up to 49 per cent in India’s airlines and Etihad, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, is the first overseas investor to take advantage of the less stringent legislation.
Earlier this year, the Gulf carrier purchased loss-making Jet Airways’ slots at Heathrow Airport for £45 million (see online news, February 27). The three pairs of slots will be leased back to the Indian carrier, which will continue to operate its London services.
The acquisition adds to recent Etihad investments in airlines including Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and Aer Lingus.