First fully foreign-owned airlines operating in India could be from Qatar

India may soon see its first fully foreign-owned airlines after the government allowed 100% FDI in India’s aviation sector.

  • Qatar Airways to tie up with Qatar Investment Authority (government arm) to launch India’s first fully foreign-owned airlines
  • For years, Qatar Airways had been wanting to buy a stake in IndiGo (India’s largest and most profitable airline), but the later ‘politely declined’ their offer every time.
  • Qatar Airways enjoys the highest 5-star airline rating
  • Singapore Airlines, Etihad, and AirAsia are already invested in the Indian Aviation sector

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Narendra Modi government’s decision to allow 100% FDI in domestic airlines has attracted several cash-rich foreign airlines to India (currently the fastest growing aviation market globally). Top Gulf carriers – Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihaad – all are in the race to be among the first to make use of the 100% FDI that is now allowed in Indian carriers.

“The opening of FDI will help bring in much needed cash, aircraft fleet and best practices. The likely increase in competition will bring down prices and enhance air penetration in India – both international and domestic,” head of aerospace and defence at KPMG (India).