Monday, March 13, 2017

Jet, Spicejet raise concerns over foreign ownership in Indi skies

Qatar Airways’ plans of launching a domestic airline in India may have hit an air pocket even before it took flight with Jet Airways and SpiceJet raising red flags over allowing foreign players in the domestic circuit.
SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Ajay Singh and Jet Airways’s acting chief executive officer (CEO) Amit Agarwal met civil aviation secretary R N Choubey to air their concerns over the move to allow 100 per cent ownership of local airlines by foreign investors.

“Discussions mainly pertained to allowing foreign players into the domestic airline business,” a source present said. The meeting, which lasted for over an hour, comes days after Gulf carrier Qatar Airways’s CEO Akbar Al Bakr announced plans to set up an airline in India along with the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, which is said to be the 14th largest in the world. As per existing rules, foreign airlines are allowed to own as much as 49 per cent in Indian carriers, although overall foreign investment can go up to 100%.

Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at accountancy and consultancy firm KPMG, reacting to news of a fully-owned and operated Qatar airline said, “Under current rules allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment only if the foreign airlines have zero stake in the said airline.”
13/03/17  Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror