Tata, Singapore Airlines to float new airline

The Tata Group is teaming up with Singapore Airlines to set up a full-service airline based out of India, which will further stimulate demand for air travel in the country.

Tata Sons Ltd, the holding arm of the diversified Tata Group, and Singapore Airlines Ltd have signed an initial agreement to set up a new airline and are jointly seeking approval from the Indian government, the two said in joint release.

Tata Sons will own a 51-per cent stake in the new venture, while Singapore Airlines will hold the remaining 49 per cent, according to the joint news release.

Under the proposal, which is subject to FIPB and other regulatory approvals, the airline will be based in New Delhi and will operate under the full-service model.

The initial board will have three members, two nominated by Tata Sons and one nominated by Singapore Airlines. Tata Sons has nominated Prasad Menon as chairman of the yet-to-be-named joint venture airline.

''It is Tata Sons' evaluation that civil aviation in India offers sustainable growth potential. We now have the opportunity to launch a world-class, full-service airline in India. We are delighted that we are partnering in this endeavour with the world-renowned Singapore Airlines,'' said Prasd Menon.

''We have always been a strong believer in the growth potential of India's aviation sector and are excited about the opportunity to partner Tata Sons in contributing to the future expansion of the market,'' said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong.

''Tata Sons is one of the most established and respected names in India. With the recent liberalisation, the time is right to jointly bring consumers a fresh new option for full-service air travel. We are confident the joint venture airline will help to stimulate market demand and provide economic benefits to India,'' Goh added.

Details of the airline's branding, management team and products and services will be announced in due course, the two said in the joint release.