Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Indian carriers look to chart tax-lite flight path

New Delhi: Covid-struck Indian carriers can see some light on the horizon. The FM said that aircraft leasing companies setting up base in Ahmedabad’s GIFT City will get a tax holiday on capital gains and tax exemption for aircraft lease rentals paid to foreign lessors.

At present, all Indian airlines have leased aircraft from foreign countries like Ireland and Singapore with payments in forex. The proposed tax holiday can help reduce forex outflow. Indian airlines have over 800 planes currently on order that are to be delivered in the next four to five years.

Remi Maillard, president and MD of Airbus India and South Asia, said this will “provide some relief to Indian carriers, which are bleeding cash because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will help grow the fleet size in India as a vast majority of these aircraft will likely be leased”.

The FM also said more airports “will be monetised for operations and management concession”, including those in smaller cities — meaning they will be run PPP way. A senior AAI official said the next lot of airports to be given for PPP operations are Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Indore, Amritsar and Trichy. “They will be given to PPP players by clubbing with smaller airports. Which means a corporate entity taking over one of these six airports will need to take small airport/s too. The (names and numbers of) smaller airports have not been finalised yet,” the official said.

02/02/21 Times of India

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