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Virgin Group eyes domestic airline in India

01/24/2008| 10:21:00 AM| 中文

Virgin Group's Richard Branson has sought permission to start a domestic airline in India. (1/22/2008)

Virgin Group´s Richard Branson has sought permission to start a domestic airline in India. (1/22/2008)

"As a foreigner I´m not allowed to own a domestic airline ... I´m still lobbying to get permission to launch a domestic airline in India," Branson told reporters in New Delhi.

Under the existing policy, India doesn´t allow overseas airlines to hold stakes in local carriers directly or indirectly. In 2004, India raised the limit overseas companies, excluding airlines, can own in local airlines to 49% from 40% to enable them to get more investments.

Branson, who is accompanying British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, met Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and renewed his proposal to enter the domestic aviation sector that is closed to foreigners.

"I had dinner with the minister last night. I twisted his arm, (but) I do not know whether I have broken it," he told reporters on the sidelines of Brown´s breakfast meeting here with industry leaders from the UK and India.

The domestic market size is expected to cross 60 million and international traffic 40 million by end of 2010.
TAGS: Virgin Group | Gordon Brown | Commerce and Industry
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