Dubai company, ETA Star, to invest $1 billion in India's aviation and port sectors

Mumbai: ETA Star, a Dubai-based company, which is participating in the infrastructure boom in the country, has said that it will also enter the port and aviation sectors and will invest more than $1 billion in these areas. The diversified group has already made combined investments totalling more than Rs9,000 crore in the power and real estate sectors.

Star Aviation, the Chennai-based private airline of the ETA group, is looking to start commercial operations from June-July this year, after having received clearance from the aviation ministry in December last year.

The airline will start operations as a regional carrier in the south of the country, connecting cities such as Vishakapatanam, Coimbatore and Madurai, as also metros such as Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi and Hyderabad.

According to the company, operations will likely commence with 3-4 leased and 2 owned Airbus in a single class configuration. The airline will operate in an all-economy class along the same lines as another regional operator Paramount Airways.

The group's plan is to make air travel affordable for the local people and, in stages, adopt a pan-India presence through induction of additional aircraft and an increase in the number of connecting routes.

ETA is likely to invest Rs4,000-4,500 crore in the development of a port in Tamil Nadu, and is believed to be in final stages of selecting the required site.