Third time lucky? Singapore Airlines sets sights on India

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Singapore Airlines has entered into partnership with Tata Group in the Indian market. (AP) Singapore Airlines has entered into partnership with Tata Group in the Indian market. (AP)
SummarySingapore Airlines has entered into partnership with Tata Group in the Indian market.

a long-haul low-cost airline, last year to tap the low-fare leisure markets that SIA left behind as it focused on the premium business. Its one-third stake in short-haul LCC Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd could also potentially go up to 46.5 percent.

SIA bought a stake in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd in late 2012 and increased this to 19.9 percent, ensuring access to the important Australian market.

Silkair, SIA's fully-owned regional subsidiary, will retire its fleet of Airbus A320s and induct new Boeing 737s over the next few years as it grows its network of Asia-Pacific services. SIA itself has ordered dozens of new Airbus A350s, and Boeing's 777-300ERs and 787-10s.

The Indian venture has its challenges. SIA must successfully chart a course around India's political and bureaucratic minefield for regulatory approval.

Under existing regulations, it must serve the domestic market for five years before it can operate international flights. Taxes and airport fees are high, and profitability rare for the country's airlines.

SIA's competitors in the full-service segment are beleaguered Air India, which survives only because of the hundreds of millions of dollars New Delhi has pumped into it, and Jet Airways, in which Etihad Airways is buying a minority stake.

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