(MENAFN) A senior official at India's civil aviation ministry has unveiled that Jet Airways (India) Ltd. is in talks to sell a stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, the Wall Street Journal reported.
If a deal is sealed, it will strengthen Etihad's presence in the world's second-fastest-growing major economy and allow it to tap into a large number of expatriate Indians who travel to the Middle East, as well to North America and Europe.
Etihad Airways already owns stakes in Germany's Air Berlin, Ireland's Aer Lingus PLC, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles.
The negotiations come after the government decided in September to allow foreign airlines to own up to 49 percent in local carriers.
This measure could throw a lifeline to struggling carriers such as Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., which are suffering because of high taxes on jet fuel, rising airport fees, expensive loans, poor infrastructure and stiff competition.
All but one airline; Interglobe Aviation Ltd.'s budget carrier IndiGo, posted losses in the financial year ended March 31.