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There are huge opportunities for growth in the Indian market, but few foreign airlines have the financial fortitude to take on an ailing airline like Kingfisher, which had pushed for the ban’s removal.
There has been all-round cheer on the government’s decision to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 percent in Indian carriers this evening. Today’s move reversed a 1997 decision which had barred foreign airlines from investing in Indian ones.
The 1997 decision, allegedly based on pressure from the domestic aviation lobby, had resulted in killing the proposed joint venture between Singapore Airlines and the Tata group. After that fiasco, the Tatas never managed to enter the aviation business again.
So, in a sense, the lifting of this ban on foreign airlines entering the domestic sector is a good move.