Rakesh Jhunjhunwala to back new low-cost airline, may own upto 40 percent stake as per Reports
India's renowned investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is reportedly backing a new low-fare airline venture with an investment of up to $35 million (Rs 260.7 crore), a report in The Economic Times said.
The new airline is pursued by seasoned aviation professionals including Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube who is reportedly leading preliminary talks with Jhunjhunwala and a foreign investor, the report added citing an anonymous source. Jhunjhunwala may own as much as 40 percent of the stake in the new airline.
Monyecontrol could not independently verify the report.
The airline is tentatively named 'Akasa' meaning the sky, is reportedly waiting on a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. "The aviation ministry’s NOC is just the first approval. For further applications, the team needs to draw up a firm business plan for which it needs funds. Everything depends on when and how much money they can raise. The aim is to start the airline by the middle of next year," an industry source told the publication.
With the waning second wave of COVID-19 and a threat of a third wave of infections looming, the aviation industry has seen record losses in over a year. However, Jhunjhunwala is known for his bets on local entrepreneurs and has reportedly made small bets in the aviation industry before.
He had owned over one percent stake in SpiceJet and had also owned one percent in Jet Airways which was shut down in 2019. The ace investor has reimposed his faith in Indian markets saying that India's bull market will continue and the inflation in India is transitory.