• Air Costa in stake sale talks

    Air Costa is in advanced stages of discussions with foreign carriers, including those from the Gulf, for a possible stake sale, as the Vijayawada-based airline seeks to spread its wings after securing a flying permit for pan-India operations.

    The carrier is also in the process of sealing a deal for the leasing of six aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services of Singapore, which is expected to be in place by this month, CEO Vivek Choudhary said.

    The airline operates from eight airports, mainly in southern India, as a regional carrier with a fleet of three Embraer 190 aircraft. Air Costa plans to induct a fourth Embraer this month.

    On Monday, the airline secured a pan-India operator permit from aviation regulator DGCA, putting it in the league of budget carriers such as SpiceJet, IndiGo, GoAir and AirAsia India.

    “We are in talks for (stake sale), which are in advanced stages, with carriers from the Gulf and an airline from Southeast Asia,” Choudhary said, adding the quantum of stake to be diluted has not been decided yet.

    The top Air Costa official said securing a national flying permit would boost the airline’s prospects of taking a foreign partner on board. Chris Wormley Womens Jersey

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