New Delhi, October 21, 2018: The reports of Tata Group buying a large stake in the loss-making Jet Airways have set the tongues wagging. The salt-to-software conglomerate is reportedly mulling over buying 26 per cent stake in Jet, and another 26 per cent via open offer at a later point. The stake purchase is expected to make Tata Group the second biggest airline operator in the country after IndiGo in terms of market share, and third-largest in terms of fleet size.
The Tata Group already owns substantial stake in two carriers – 51 per cent in Vistara and 49 per cent in AirAsia India. With Jet under its fold, the Tata Group-owned airlines would have a combined market share of 23.6 per cent as compared to 41.9 per cent for IndiGo, as per August data. The fleet size of Tata Group-owned airlines would be 159, which is lesser than Air India Group’s 176 (including Air India Express and Alliance Air) and IndiGo’s 172 aircraft according to aviationindia.net.
Surprisingly, the Tata Group-owned airlines would have far higher staff strength (18,774) as compared to IndiGo’s 14,604 and Air India Group’s 13,518, as mentioned in the DGCA’s Handbook on Civil Aviation Statistics 2017/18. In fact, the combined personnel strength of the Tata Group-owned airlines would be over 32 per cent of the staff count of the sector. The higher staff strength also points out to the higher staff-per-aircraft ratio of 118 as compared to its peers – IndiGo’s 84.9 and Air India Group’s 76.8.