Etihad sees 'imminent' approval for Jet Airways deal

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Etihad Airways confident that it will gain the necessary approvals to execute its agreement to take a stake in Jet Airways by the end of September.

Flightglobal Pro has verified that Etihad chief executive James Hogan and Jet chairman Naresh Goyal agreed recently to extend a 'long-stop' deadline for the deal to be approved to the end of September.

A spokesman for Etihad says clearances from the Competition Commission of India and the Indian government are expected "imminently."

Under the proposed deal, Etihad will take a 24% stake in Jet as part of a wide-ranging alliance between the two carriers. Etihad has also agreed to buy a 50% stake in Jet's Jet Privilege loyalty programme and also acquire its slots at London Heathrow airport under a sale and leaseback arrangement.

Etihad is also helping to facilitate $150 million in commercial loans for the Indian carrier that will be secured against its assets.

Jet is reportedly planning a major restructuring of its international network as part of the agreement, which will see it route a number of international services via Etihad's hub in Abu Dhabi.