and grow the market."
For the USD 100 billion Tata Group, this would be its second foray into the aviation segment after the late JRD Tata launched Air India before the Independence. The Tatas had also gone through the botched up process of Air India disinvestment in 2001, along with Singapore Airlines which walked out.
Besides investing in this new venture, the Tata Group holds nearly six per cent equity in SpiceJet and maintains that it was only a financial investor in the budget carrier.
Telestra Tradeplace is an investment holding company of Arun Bhatia and one of its group companies is Hindustan Aerosystems Pvt Ltd which manufactures and supplies precision components for the aerospace industry.
Bhatia's son Amit serves on the Board of Directors at Queens Park Rangers Football Club in the UK alongside Tony Fernandes, the founder of AirAsia. Amit is married to Vanisha Mittal, the only daughter of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
Tata sons, AirAsia joint venture: Tony Fernandes to invest $30-$60 mn
(Reuters) Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd, Asia's biggest budget carrier, will invest between $30 to $60 million into its new airline venture in India, said chief executive Tony Fernandes on a conference call with the media on Wednesday.
The company has sought approval to establish a new airline with unlisted firms Tata Sons Ltd and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd.
AirAsia, through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment Ltd, intends to own 49 percent of the venture with the remaining stake held by the two Indian firms. The venture plans to operate from Chennai in southern India and provide domestic flight options.
India's aviation industry, which has seen continued losses due to high operating costs and regulatory uncertainty, was opened to foreign investors in September last year.
AirAsia presently flies to four south Indian cities and the eastern city of Kolkata in addition to 20 countries across Asia.