Though both Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya and Jet Airways chief executive officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer have recently announced that their alliance is very much alive, Kingfisher's recent preliminary talks with the Air France-KLM group sends a different signal – the airline seems to be scouting for a different partner.
As the Indian government clears the way for foreign investors to own up to 25 per cent in Indian carriers, Kingfisher has turned its eye towards overseas partners.
As for Air France–KLM, after finalising a deal with Alitalia for a 25% stake with a price tag of 322 million euros, it appears that the European giant may have entered into preliminary talks for a 20-25% minority stake in the Indian five star carrier.
In recent days Jet Airways' name has also been tied with Etihad, while British Airways has been hinted at pursuing a GoAir minority stake.
Aviation minister Praful Patel has said in a recent interview that there is a more reasonable case now for foreign investment than there was three-four years ago.