Vizag may gain from relaxed FDI norms for aviation sector

Visakhapatnam: The finance minister’s proposed relaxation in FDI norms for aviation might act as a boon for small airports like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry.
All airports in the state are plagued with regular withdrawing of flights by different airlines. Last year, six flights, including an international one, were cancelled at Visakhapatnam Airport itself. Silk Air has announced to withdraw its Visakhapatnam-Singapore operation from October. Aviation experts feel more foreign investment may mean an improvement in this situation.
“Relaxation of FDI norms may see more foreign airlines investing in India. Number of flights would increase after this. With sectors connecting the metro cities saturated, airlines would definitely operate short-haul flights connecting smaller airports,” said an official working with Indigo.
“There might be another benefit if the number of flights (especially those operated by international airlines) gets increased. A stiff competition would increase quality of on-board services and would also make airfare competitive,” said Joydeep Mukherjee, an international travel expert who has drafted tourism policy for some countries. Experts maintained that new FDI norms might also find prospective buyers for the already-grounded Jet Airways and the cash-strapped national carrier Air India.

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