Cabinet approves FDI policy on Civil Aviation


To permit foreign investment upto 100% by those NRIs, who are Indian Nationals, in case of M/s Air India Ltd., the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on March 4 approved to amend the extant FDI Policy to permit Foreign Investment (s) in M/s Air India Ltd by NRIs, who are Indian Nationals, upto to 100% under automatic route.

As per the present FDI Policy, 100% FDI is permitted in scheduled Air Transport Service/Domestic Scheduled Passenger Airline (Automatic upto 49% and Government route beyond 49%). However, for NRIs 100% FDI is permitted under automatic route in Scheduled Air Transport Service/Domestic Scheduled Passenger Airline. Further, FDI is subject to the condition that Substantial Ownership & Effective Control (SOEC) shall be vested in Indian Nationals as per aircraft rules, 1937.

However, for M/s Air India Ltd., as per the present policy, foreign investment(s) in M/s Air India Ltd. Including that of foreign Airline(s) shall not exceed 49%, either directly or indirectly, subject to the condition that substantial ownership and effective control of M/s Air India Ltd. shall continue to be vested in Indian Nationals. Therefore, although 100% FDI is permitted under automatic route for NRIs in Scheduled Air Transport Service/Domestic Scheduled Passenger Airline, it is restricted to be only 49% in case of M/s Air India.

In light of the proposed strategic disinvestment of 100% of M/s Air India Ltd. by the Government of India, M/s Air India Ltd. will have no residual Government ownership and will be completely privately owned, it has been decided that foreign investment in M/s Air India Ltd be brought on a level playing field with other scheduled airline operators. The amendment in FDI policy will permit foreign investment in M/s Air India Ltd at par with other Scheduled Airline Operators i.e. upto 100% in M/s Air India Ltd by those NRIs, who are Indian Nationals. The proposed changes in FDI Policy will enable foreign investment by NRIs into M/s Air India Ltd. upto 100%, under automatic route.

Above amendment to the FDI Policy are meant to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country.