‘Tatas won’t get into airline biz’

Mumbai : Once pioneers in civil aviation, the Tata group is unlikely to get into the sector because of “destructive competition”, outgoing Chairman Ratan Tata indicated.

‘Tatas won’t get into airline biz’

Recalling the group’s proposal for a tie up with Singapore International Airlines (SIA) for a domestic carrier in India in the mid-1990s, the Tata patriarch pointed out, “it is a different sector today than it was at that time.

“It is somewhat like telecom. It is proliferated by many operators some of them in financial trouble. I would hesitate to go into the sector today in the sense that the chances are that you would have a great deal of competition which would be unhealthy competition.”

“Overseas people go bankrupt or companies go bankrupt. Here they never do–they continue to be sick and still operate. Then they are operating to kill you.”

Tata recalled that after taking over as Chairman in 1991, he had drawn up a strategic plan to enter aerospace and defence.  Vested interests in the public sector and government laboratories do not not give these areas to the private sector. Therefore, while these areas have been opened up, the private sector’s involvement is still very limited, he said.

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