Domestic Airlines’ heads meet PM

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To discuss the financial health of the aviation sector, the heads of the major domestic airlines met Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Saturday.

The meeting which held today with the heads of Jet Airways, Indigo, Spice Jet and Go Air last for an hour. Surprisingly, Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya did not appear for the meeting.

The meeting with the Airlines’ chief was required as all the major airlines of India are facing financial crunch and reported losses for several quarters. Rising crude prices and higher operation costs have drained out all the gains of the airlines.

Airlines want government to change their Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy so they can invite foreign airlines to pick up some stake in their airlines to combat financial crunch and losses.

Currently, FDI up to 49% is allowed in the aviation sector but foreign airlines are not allowed to pick up the stake in domestic airlines.

Though, draft cabinet note for 26% FDI in airlines has been proposed by industry ministry but no approval has been sanctioned yet.

Mr. Singh earlier said, “If domestic airlines get into more troubles, we have to find a way out to help them get out of the process.”

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