Not opposed to entry of Tatas in Aviation: Ajit Singh

Not opposed to entry of Tatas in Aviation: Ajit Singh Zeebiz Bureau

New Delhi: Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Friday said that he is not opposed to the entry of business conglomerate Tata Sons into the aviation sector, as per media reports.

Malaysian carrier AirAsia has sought government's nod to launch a new Indian airline in a joint venture (JV) with Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace.

The aviation minister said many more deals like AirAsia, Tata Sons JV is in works. He said that some Japanese airlines are also talking to Indian airlines.

I was not taken by surprise by the announcement (of the JV), said Singh.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes yesterday said his company would initially invest between USD 30-50 million in the proposed airline that would launch operations with three to four Airbus A-320 aircraft. "We will scale up (the fleet) quickly thereafter."

Of the 51 percent stake, Tata Sons is likely to pick up 30 percent equity and one of Bhatia's companies, Hindustan Aerosystems, the remaining 21 percent.

The airline would be based in Chennai and in the initial phase concentrate on destinations in South India where AirAsia already operates, Fernandes said in a global teleconference from Malaysia.

With Agency Inputs