Singapore Airlines to launch full-service carrier in India

Singapore Airlines to launch full-service carrier in India

Singapore Airlines plans to establish a new full-service airline in India, nearly 15 years after a last attempt failed.

SIA and Indian conglomerate Tata Group plan to initially invest $100 milion in the start-up. Tata will own 51% and SIA will own the remainder.

The move comes just nine months after Tata agreed to a similar venture with Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia, which is still in the process of gaining approval.

Mukund Rajan, a member of the group executive council of Tata holding company Tata Sons, said: “The history of previous efforts of Tatas and SIA to partner with each other and launch a world-class airline in India is well known.

“We would like to ensure that we are able to realise the original vision of launching a full-service, world-class airline that India can be proud of."

The Indian government now allows foreign companies to own up to 49% of a local airline, which has spurred a spate of deal-making in the sector, the BBC reported.

India's government forecasts the domestic air travel will nearly triple this decade as airlines connect its smaller cities.

But India's airline industry has suffered losses because of high fuel costs and intense price competition.

Only one of India's six main carriers - IndiGo - made a profit last year while Kingfisher remains grounded.

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