Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has secured a 24 per cent stake in India’s privately-owned Jet Airways, in a deal that will fuel greater passenger traffic between the UAE and the Indian subcontinent.  

Etihad has bought 27,263,372 new shares in the airline, which translates to an equity stake of $379m.

The investment marks the first time that an overseas operator has invested in an Indian airline. It follows the relaxation of regulations in India last year that permitted foreign carriers to purchase stakes of up to 49 per cent in local airlines.

Through codeshare agreements between the two, passengers on Jet Airways will be able to tap into Etihad’s network of 88 destinations. The Indian airline operates flights from 23 cities in the country.

The Abu Dhabi airline has also paid $70m to purchase Jet Airways’ three slots at Heathrow airport in the UK, through a sale and leaseback agreement.