India is evaluating demands by various foreign airlines to enhance bilateral air traffic rights in the wake of a massive hike granted to Abu Dhabi following the Jet-Etihad deal. The Union government is planning to evaluate India's international passenger growth and will also see how the existing bilateral rights are being used by Emirates before taking a call on their request, said Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh in London.
Union Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said that India allows foreign airlines to invest as much as 49 per cent stake in local airline firms regardless of whether the investment is made before a joint venture is formed or after. Singh was instrumental in permitting foreign carriers to invest in local airlines by amending the existing foreign direct investment rules, as part of efforts to help local airlines get much-needed funds.
Indian State-owned Air India has warned the Union government that allowing investments by foreign airlines will hurt the interests of domestic airlines and prevent Indian airports from developing into international hubs. The government should study the potential impact of such investment on the domestic aviation sector as a whole, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Rohit Nandan wrote in a letter to Aviation Secretary KN Srivastava in December, sources said.