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Tata to start new airlines in India

New Delhi: Salt to software conglomerate Tata group on Thursday said it has entered into an agreement with Singapore Airlines to start a full-service carrier in India.

The two parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the airline, which will be based in New Delhi and operate under the full-service model, Tata Sons said in a statement.

"Tata Sons will own 51 per cent and Singapore Airlines will own 49 per cent," the statement added. The Tatas already have a partnership with AirAsia Bhd to start a low-cost airline in India.

Tata Sons has applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for approval to establish the new airline in India, the company said, adding the initial board will have two members nominated by Tata Sons and one nominated by Singapore Airlines.

The Chairman will be Prasad Menon, nominated by Tata Sons.

"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," Menon said.

Expressing similar views, Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said: "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." With the recent liberalisation, the time is right to jointly bring consumers a fresh new option for full-service air travel, he added.

"We are confident the joint venture airline will help to stimulate market demand and provide economic benefits to India," Goh said.

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



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