Sunday, 24 June, 2018


Singapore Airlines says options open on Air India disinvestment

Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 08:35

At 86, the Maharaja is a hot bachelor for suitors from across the globe with an Indian connection, thanks to the government's move to allow foreign airlines to be part owners of soon to be privatised Air India. For instance, 49 per cent stake in Indian airlines such as Vistara and AirAsia India are owned by Singapore Airlines and AirAsia Berhad respectively.

On whether it would be interested in Air India disinvestment, Emirates said it has no plans to buy or acquire any airline.

Besides, the Singapore Airlines group has significant number of flights connecting various Indian cities.

"Foreign airlines allowed to invest up to 49 per cent under government approval route in Air India as well".

The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod to several amendments in the FDI policy, including foreign investments in Air India under the approval route, which is subject to certain conditions.

Last week, Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara said that Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines have an "open mind" on the issue of the Air India disinvestment and that they will evaluate any potential business case therein.

"It has now been chose to do away with this restriction and allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India subject to the conditions that foreign investment (s) in Air India including that of foreign Airline (s) shall not exceed 49% either directly or indirectly and substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian National", the Indian government said in a statement after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. If we have disinvested 60 percent of Air India, 60 percent would be with the private sector, 40 percent would remain with the government. OK.

"Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian national", the release said.

The government opening the floodgates for Foreign Direct Investment in single-brand retail, aviation and construction is a robust move towards injecting a new lease of life in the moribund Indian economy.

Thirdly, he said, it would be prudent to honour the report of the Parliamentary Committee, which has recently recommended against the disinvestment in Air India and has recommended for holding back this decision for the time being.

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