Air India Sell Off Could Rule Out Foreign Carriers

India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has released the country’s Consolidated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy, which specifically excludes Air India (AI, Mumbai Int’l) from being majority-owned by foreign carriers, reports the Economic Times of India. The policy makes it clear that the government will not be looking to any of the major international carriers to purchase the ailing national airline.

Other Indian domestic airlines are still permitted to be owned up to 49% by foreign carriers, as long as the substantial ownership and effective control remains with Indians. Indian carriers can, however, be up to 100% owned by non-airline foreign investors.

India’s government is keen to sell off its airline amid mounting debts, which must of course be addressed before privatisation can go ahead. Air India’s debt currently stands at around INR520 billion (USD8.1 billion).

IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int’l) is the only Indian carrier that has expressed interest in purchasing Air India, a transaction which would enable it to quickly expand in the international market. Read More…

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