India’s biggest airline takeover collapses

The $500 million Jet Airways takeover of domestic rival Air Sahara collapsed Thursday amid a row over the price of India’s largest airline merger, according to reports. A deadline to complete the deal passed at midnight (1830 GMT Wednesday) to create India’s biggest domestic carrier, controlling about half of the booming market, according to Agence France Presse.

The BBC’s Karishma Vaswani in Mumbai says the deal failed because Jet Airways feels it paid in excess and now wants a discount.

Air Sahara will take back control of its airline, a company official said.

The takeover, subject to approvals from the government, would have allowed Jet Airways to use Air Sahara’s fleet, air routes and traffic.

“From Thursday, we are going to run our airline as if there had not been any deal. It is our firm belief that we will be able to run the airline as we have been doing over the past 13 years,” Air Sahara president Alok Sharma was quoted in The Hindu newspaper telling reporters.