SpiceJet

Has India’s airline industry finally turned a corner? Possibly.

According to a new report from CAPA, the centre for aviation, total loss made by India’s airlines was “only” $1.65bn in the fiscal year ended this March. While that’s still a big loss, it’s a marked improvement from the $2.28bn loss recorded in the previous 12-month period. 

Since the brutal rape of a 23 year-old student in the nation’s capital in December, the gender debate has captured the attention of the Indian public – and companies are reacting.

Some businesses have adapted their operations to boost women’s empowerment. But now, multinationals in sectors without any obvious link to gender are getting in on the game. 

Shares in Jet Airways and SpiceJet soared on Monday by nearly a fifth after an Indian government official confirmed the worst-kept secret in Mumbai – the two carriers are in talks with potential foreign investors.

Jet is discussing selling a stake to Etihad Airways and SpiceJet is having similar discussions with Malaysia’s AirAsia, said the official. These are the first deal plans to be made public since New Delhi liberalised investment by foreign carriers in September. 

Shares in Jet Airways, the Indian airline, soared by up to 15 per cent on Friday amid speculation that the company is about to announce a tie-up with a foreign carrier.

Although Jet denied that it had any such plan, its comment had little impact on the Mumbai stock market where investors seem convinced that foreign carriers are about to capitalise on recent government moves to liberalise foreign investment in air travel.