Mumbai: Jet Airways, which has been in talks with Etihad Airways on off-loading 24 percent of its stake for about Rs 1,600 crore, also plans to have a marketing alliance with the premier Gulf carrier, sources said on Monday.
"Apart from sale of stake, the two airlines are expected to have a marketing agreement along with sharing of some flying slots under the air traffic rights," one of the sources said here.
Several rounds of meetings are learnt to have been held in Abu Dhabi and London over the past few months and the deal is being negotiated by a team led by Jet Airways' Chief Commercial Officer Sudheer Raghavan and Chief Operating Officer Capt Hamid Ali, they said.
There have also been reports that Jet and Etihad would be sharing each other's infrastructure facilities like engineering and training, as part of an overall understanding. Jet and Etihad already have a codeshare arrangement.
However, there has been no official response on any of these issues from either airline so far, with both just maintaining that they would not comment on market speculations. A text message to Jet CEO Nikos Kardassis also did not yield any response.
Last week, officials from the two sides met in London to discuss the finer points of the proposed deal, the sources said, adding that the negotiations are now back on table at Etihad's headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
The two carriers had first initiated talks in September, immediately after the government announced allowing up to 49 percent stake purchase by foreign airlines in the domestic carriers.
The sources said the deal is likely to be completed by year-end and mandatory clearances from the Union Home Ministry and Foreign Investment Promotion Board would be sought early next year so that the entire transaction settlement is completed by the end of this financial year.
Etihad has expanded globally through equity investments in several air carriers like airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Irish national carrier Aer Lingus.
First Published: Monday, December 3, 2012, 21:05