FOR Tata group shareholders, Ratan Tata's decision to withdraw the airline proposal may be good news. Here's why:
Not an envied business: Running an airline is hardly the most seductive business on earth, rather one of the toughest. The Tatas did start India's first airline, but that was a long time ago. After the government refused equity participation by a foreign airline, the Tatas had to work out a technical collaboration with Singapore Airlines. But the collaborators' commitment is far higher when they have an equity stake.
Hurdles from the civil aviation ministry:See the trouble the ministry gives other private domestic airways, one of the main reasons all end up in the red. There's no reason to believe Tata Airlines would have been treated differently.
Funding pattern unclear: Says Nischal Maheswari, fund manager, Apple Asset Management Company: "As it's not yet clear who's going to contribute funds for this project, it's difficult to assess how it will affect shareholders of Tata...