An Indian BJP party leader filed a Supreme Court petition to review Etihad’s 24 per cent acquisition of Jet Airways in April 2013.
Subramanian Swamy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is India’s largest political group since its victory in the 2014 general election, submitted the plea, stating: “It is against public interest, since Etihad is squandering the country’s natural resources, such as airspace.”
A further concern for Etihad is that the Supreme Court has accepted the notice and has given the central government, which includes India’s Civil Aviation Authority, four weeks to respond before a judgment is made, a local news agency reports.
What’s more, in an unrelated case, in December 2013, the court made clear that it would overrule Etihad’s acquisition if any irregularities were found.
The controversy surrounding this deal is the third hitch that the Abu Dhabi-based carrier is facing. Last week, AMEinfo reported that Etihad’s equity alliance was facing scrutiny, since its previous acquisitions of Darwin Airlines and Air Serbia were brought into question by local authorities.
Having just completed its biggest coup of acquiring Italy’s Alitalia in early August, controversy in yet another deal may suggest that Etihad’s grip on the global aviation industry is not as firm as many believe.