Kingfisher Airlines A320. By Rob Finlayson

The Indian government is expected this week to approve direct investment in Indian airlines by foreign carriers.

The Times of India and other media outlets reported that the approval is likely to come at a cabinet meeting Thursday. Struggling Indian carriers, such as Kingfisher Airlines (ATW Daily News, April 3), have said that foreign airline capital would provide a much-needed boost to the industry.

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh earlier this year expressed his support for a proposal to allow foreign airlines to own up to a 49% stake in Indian carriers, saying it would “help the [domestic airline] sector that is in financial stress” (ATW Daily News, Jan. 18).

Foreign direct investment (with a 49% cap) in Indian airlines is currently allowed, but foreign airlines aren’t allowed to invest at all.

IATA DG and CEO Tony Tyler last month called for serious reforms in Indian civil aviation policy (ATW Daily News, March 16).