The year 2019 witnessed the shutdown of operations for Jet Airways, while the year 2020 began with the Air India Chief telling NDTV that there's no choice but to disinvest the airline as the mountain of debt has been piling and the accumulated losses for Air India stand at about Rs 69,000 crore.
Ankur Bhatia, Managing Director, Amadeus, Indian Subcontinent said, "The government should actively consider addressing the two concerns with which the aviation industry is currently grappling. First, a hike in foreign direct investment is highly warranted. Other sectors have been allowed to have FDI via automatic route. Considering the fact aviation is in dire straits, FDI should be allowed on a case-to-case basis with riders from the home ministry to come clear on national security concerns. Second, rationalization of ATF taxes, a long-standing demand of the industry, will take the sector out of the quagmire of debts and wafer-thin margins of operations."
Sanat Kaul, Chairperson, International Foundation for Aviation Aerospace and Drones believes the taxation on aviation fuel "must be brought under a reasonable GST rate." He also states "100% FDI in the sector may not do wonders as the DGCA needs to look into predatory pricing and excessive taxation."
Given India's employment crisis, aviation experts feel it is crucial to boost aviation MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) industry within India as that will give a tremendous push to jobs. They also think that it is a good time for India to eye the usage of drones to boost productivity across sectors.