Etihad Airways says govt change not to hit Jet Airways deal, seeks common ground with Narendra Modi on jobs

Written by PTI | Dubai | Updated: May 6 2014, 11:25am hrs
EthihadThis isn't a political issue. We have entered into partnership: James Hogan on Etihad-Jet deal. Reuters
A change of government in India will not affect Etihad Airways equity holdings in Jet Airways, chief of the Gulf carrier has said, expressing "full confidence in the Indian process".

With the likelihood of BJP leader Narendra Modi-led NDA coming to power increasing by the day, Etihad Airways seeks to promote the benefits the Jet Airways deal will bring, including creation of jobs which has been a theme much plugged by the saffron leader in his speeches on a daily basis.

"This isn't a political issue. We have entered into a partnership with a great Indian company," Etihad President and Chief Executive James Hogan said.

In the first foreign investment made in the Indian aviation industry, Etihad last year picked up 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways after months of reviews by Indian regulatory authorities.

"We have from day one worked through the proper process and have full confidence in the Indian process," Hogan said, stressing that the deal was in the interest of both carriers.

Asserting that Etihad had not breached the Indian aviation policy, he affirmed that the flag carrier of the UAE does not have managerial control over Jet Airways.

"We work within the aviation policy of that country and we work within a sector that has a major impact on all the countries we fly in and out of," Hogan was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.

"As much as we're going to take traffic, we're going to bring as much traffic in," he said.

The deal was "also great for Indian jobs... the stronger Jet Airways becomes, they will be able to employ more people," Hogan said.

Asked about the fate of the deal after the Lok Sabha elections when a new government takes over power, Hogan stressed that the equity stake was a "commercial agreement" for the two airlines to work together.