On Wednesday, Qatar Airways confirmed that soon it will start a fully owned airline in India. This happened after the civil aviation ministry of India has asked the CEO of state-owned Qatar airways, Al Baker and the Qatar government to participate in the country’s growth rate by starting an airline in India.
During the ITB Berlin travel show, the CEO, Al Baker said, “Yes, we will have a 100% owned domestic carrier in India that will belong to both QR (Qatar Airways) and our state investment arm as India has now allowed foreign investment in domestic carriers within India.” The travel show was telecasted live on the airline’s Facebook page. He said, “We will soon be making an application to that effect.”
The Indian aviation ministry welcomed the move, as Rajiv Nayan Choubey, the aviation secretary on Wednesday said, “I did not expect this (so soon),” “We will await for the application and will process it as per government policy,” Choubey said.
“We will examine that when we receive that application. Yes, up to 49% it is allowed. That (fund investment) is something that we will have to take a look as to what is the interplay between the two and that is the subject matter of approval,” he said.
FYI, in India, overall foreign investment can go up to 100%, although, foreign airlines can own as much as 49% only in Indian carriers.
Instead of giving out hundreds of seats to foreign airlines to fly to India, like the previous governments, the Narendra Modi led government had asked them to rather invest here, especially the West Asian Airlines.
Prior to this, in an interview in January, the civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey has already confirmed that the Indian government has proposed the Qatar government to invest in India and start an airline. He then said, “That’s what we have suggested to them. Look we have a fantastic market—its 100% FDI. Come fly your planes, there is money here (to be made).”
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