Jet AirwaysBSE -0.03 % and Etihad Airways are in discussions for a possible deal that could see the Middle-Eastern carrier pick up a minority stake in the country's oldest surviving private airline, according to three people familiar with the talks.
If consummated soon, Jet will become the first local carrier to receive foreign investment after the government last week liberalised rules to permit overseas airlines to acquire up to 49% stake in Indian airlines. The two sides have held several rounds of discussions, the first of which took place at Jet's office in Mumbai before the venue shifted to Abu Dhabi where Etihad is based, one of the persons told ET.
"Etihad officials were in town some weeks ago and were in our office. This was much before the FDI policy was announced. Soon after they left for their country, our top brass followed them to Abu Dhabi and has been stationed there for more than a week," one of the sources, a company insider, said.
The Jet side in the negotiations is led by founder-Chairman Naresh Goyal, who is being assisted by Chief Executive Officer Nikos Kardassis, Chief Commercial Officer Sudheer Raghavan, and KG Vishwanath, VP, strategy.