Etihad Airways is likely to decide between Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines and Naresh Goyal-headed Jet Airways for a stake buy by next week when the foreign carrier’s board is scheduled to meet, a top government official said Monday.
While Mallya is desperate to get investments into his now grounded airline, Goyal is courting Etihad to help offload some of the Jet Airways’ huge debt pile of over Rs12,500 crore.
While Kingfisher Airlines has on record said it was talking with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, Jet Airways is yet to declare its intentions.
“They (Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways) have to convince Etihad’s board, they will make presentations,” the government official said, adding Etihad has not yet decided on whom to partner. “They are talking to both,” he added.
Reports have said while Etihad may pick up a 24% stake in Jet Airways if the deal goes through, Kingfisher Airlines has put up to 46% stake on the table.
Earlier this month, Etihad CEO James Hogan had told a news agency his airline was interested in having a presence in India, which he described as an important market.