Daijiworld Media Network – Abu Dhabi (SP)
Abu Dhabi, Dec 8: Reports say that Jet Airways, which ranks second in terms of market share of airlines operating in India, has been striving to remain in business. Chairman of Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal, is said to be on the lookout for someone who could rescue the airline from its current state.
There is information that an Indian businessman from Kerala who is presently based in Abu Dhabi, is considering the prospects of stepping in to help the ailing airline. Economic Times reports that M A Yusuff Ali, a NRI billionaire who happens to be the chairman and managing director of Lulu Group International, is considering the option of investing in this airline. He owns the Lulu Hypermarkets that are spread all over the world.
M A Yusuff Ali
Jet Airways chairman is also said to be in contact with Etihad Airways which is also based in Abu Dhabi, to explore chances of hiking its stake in Jet Airways. Currently Etihad has 24 percent stake in Jet Airways. Jet Airways needs to meet the condition stipulated as per law as per which the carrier’s substantial ownership and effective control should remain with Indian entities.
It is said that Goyal might try to make Etihad and Yusuff Ali to take over Jet Airways, Economic time said based on information received from sources. When contacted by the media, Yusuff Ali reportedly said that he was not keen on diverting from his main business of retailing and hospitality sectors. It is said that during the conversation Goyal had with Yusuff Ali a few days back, the latter had expressed doubts about investing heavily in the airlines business which has been incurring losses.
Yusuff Ali’s name had got prominently mentioned in the recent past during floods which devastated Kerala. It is said that UAE had offered an aid of Rs 700 crore to Kerala which was confirmed by chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan. However, this did not come through as the Indian government has taken a policy decision not to accept foreign aid for such things. Later, UAE had clarified that it had never made such an offer in the first place.
Lulu Group’s hospitality investment division, Twenty14 Holdings, has made some heavy investments running into hundreds of million dollars in hospitality industry in the recent past. Lulu Group had also announced plans to develop 50 lac sq ft for stationing IT park in Kochi for promoting this sector in that state. The group, which owns over 150 hypermarkets in 22 countries, also is building a number malls now in UP, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana.