Aviation’s High-Flying Billionaires

There are six billionaires across the world who derive the majority of their wealth from aviation, according to Forbes, and all of them are from Asia (see table). Two Indians IndiGo’s Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal—are No 1 and No 2 respectively, while another is poised to enter the club. The phenomenal turnaround of India’s third-largest airline SpiceJet is propelling its chairman and managing director Ajay Singh closer to the aviation billionaires’ group.

On September 1, SpiceJet’s shares closed at 130.05 apiece on BSE, giving Singh, who has a 60.25 percent stake in the airline, an estimated net worth of 4,697 crore or $735 million. However, about 33.5 percent of his stake is encumbered, according to BSE data. Based on his total stake in SpiceJet, Singh’s current net worth is more than double that of Tony Fernandes, co-founder and group CEO of Malaysia-based low-cost airline AirAsia. According to Forbes’s 2017 Malaysia’s 50 Richest list, Fernandes had a net worth of $345 million in March 2017. Read More…

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