Tata-Singapore tie-up seen reaffirming India aviation potential

NEW DELHI, September 21, 2013 (AFP) – A new Indian airline planned by the giant Tata Group and Singapore Airlines reaffirms the nation’s longterm potential as an aviation market, despite the sector’s current financial turbulence, analysts say. Tata Sons, the holding company of tea-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, and SIA said this week they were setting up a full-service airline after two failed joint bids to take to Indian skies.

“This investment affirms India’s reputation as a lucrative aviation market in the long-run,” Amber Dubey, aerospace head at global consultancy KPMG said.

The $100-billion Tata Group in 1932 pioneered air travel airline in India with Tata Airlines, later taken over by the government and rebranded Air India.

It will hold a majority 51-percent stake in the full-service carrier while SIA will hold 49 percent as they seek to exploit one of the fastest-growing aviation markets globally.

“The proposed airline has applied for Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval,” a Tata spokesman said.

However, the joint venture needs a slew of other regulatory approvals and it could be another year before it starts flying, analysts say.

Also, while India’s air passenger traffic has doubled over the