Aviation

Jet Airways may sell stakes to Delta

MUMBAI: Jet Airways is exploring opportunities to expand its commercial ties with American carrier Delta Air Lines into a strategic alliance involving a stake sale, two people in the know said, reports The Economic Times.

“Right now the focus is on strengthening commercial ties. But there have been talks of a stake sale to Delta as well. They could go this way or that,” said one of the people, who is close to the development. A Jet Airways spokesperson said it “does not comment on speculation”.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways already owns a 24% stake in Jet. In May end, Jet announced the appointment of former Delta senior vice-president Vinay Dube as its chief executive.

Jet has deep commercial ties with the American airline. Earlier this year, Jet announced expansion of its codeshare partnership with Delta as well as Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

ET had first reported about the ties on September 27, 2016 — months before the airlines announced the deals. The paper broached rumours also of deeper, strategic ties with Delta and Air France-KLM on May 8 in an interview with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines CEO Pieter Elbers.

The current partnership enables Jet Airways passengers access to 34 destinations in the US apart from 43 European destinations via the airline’s European hub Amsterdam and 27 via Paris.

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