Tata Sons in talks to hike stake in AirAsia India

Tata Sons is in talks with Telestra Tradeplace over hiking its stake in budget airline AirAsia India, the airline group CEO Tony Fernandes said in an interview to a private business news channel.

AirAsia is a three-way joint venture with the parent Malaysian airline AirAsia holding 49-per cent stake, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia owned Telesta Tradeplace holding 30 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

A potential purchase of Telestra's 21-per cent stake would increase Tata Sons' stake to 51 per cent, overtaking AirAsia's 49 per cent stake in the airline.

Apart from its stake in AirAsia India, Tata Sons holds a majority 51 per cent in full-service carrier Vistara, while Singapore Airline holds the remaining.

AirAsia India, which started operations in June last year, reported a loss of Rs19 crore in the first three months of 2015.

At present, AirAsia India has Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Pune in its destination network.

The airline is facing stiff competition on all its routes, with IndiGo and Jet Airways adding flights on these routes. India's airlines are also locked in a fare war to grab air traffic market share.