Interups, a New York-based investment firm which is backed by non-resident Indians (NRIs), has struck a deal to buy a 49% stake in TruJet (TRJ, Hyderabad International), the regional carrier revealed in a statement on April 1. The transaction details were not disclosed.

Interups has had its eye on India’s aviation sector for some time. In late December 2020, it withdrew an Expression of Interest it had submitted to buy Air India (AI, Delhi International) in the flag carrier’s ongoing privatisation process due to concerns it may be disqualified on formal grounds, although it continued to support a group of Air India employees in their bid until they themselves were disqualified.

According to this new deal with Trujet, Interups will acquire a 49% shareholding in Turbo Megha Airways (Turbo Aviation), which owns and operates the regional carrier and which called itself in its statement “the only successful operator in UDAN routes,” referring to Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik, the Indian government’s regional air connectivity development scheme.

Trujet has “garnered 49% foreign direct investment to expand its operations,” it said. K V Pradeep, group director of MEIL (Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited) and Palepu Lakshmi Prasad, chairman of Interups, added jointly that “the funds raised will be utilised to expand its operations pan India and explore the newer opportunities in the civil aviation sector. We will finalise the exact final amount at a later stage.”

Once the deal is completed, Hyderabad-based MEIL’s stake in Turbo Megha Airways will shrink to 51%.

According to the ch-aviation fleets and ch-aviation capacities modules, TruJet currently operates five ATR72-500s and two ATR72-600s on a network of 23 Indian domestic routes, many of them Tier-II cities under the UDAN scheme. In its statement, it said it had carried exactly 2,819,893 passengers since its inception in July 2015.