A Jet Airways plane readies for takeoff. Photo: iStock
Jet Airways operated its last flight on April 17 last year and became insolvent in June after being in service for 25 years. Photo: iStock

Shares of the troubled Indian airline Jet Airways began on a buoyant note on Thursday morning amid buzz of a takeover by the Tata Group.

The stock opened at 271 rupees, up from its previous close of 259.10 rupees on the National Stock Exchange. At 11:25am it was trading at 275.20 rupees.

On Friday, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran is expected to present a business viability plan to the board on the proposed acquisition of Jet Airways. It will also touch on long-term financial goals and integration of Jet with its existing airline ventures – Vistara and Air Asia India, The Times of India reports.

Buying Jet Airways, with its fleet of 124 aircraft, would transform Tata from being a fringe player to a dominant one. Its two airlines currently have a combined market share of 8% and acquiring Jet Airways would boost it to 24%. It would also give the Tatas access to international routes, as well as slots at prominent airports around the world.

But the flip side is that Tata would have to deal with the troubled finances of Jet Airways, which recently reported its third consecutive quarterly loss and owes money to vendors and employees alike.

Jet Airways founder chairman Naresh Goyal is reportedly open to the idea of ceding management control, but is likely to retain a stake in the airline.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which owns 24% in Jet Airways, has yet to reveal its plans.