Meanwhile, foreign direct investment (FDI) by airlines was very much the subject of discussion at a press conference held by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh earlier in the week. Talking in the context of an impending deal between Jet Airways and Etihad Airlines, he pointed out that of the full-service airlines that remained to get FDI, Air India was one. But, he added with a smile, “As far as Air India is concerned, it cannot get a better FDI deal than what it is getting from the Government of India.” That set everyone laughing but there was more than a grain of truth to the minister’s statement. After all, which foreign airline would give the flag carrier Rs 30,000 crore as a bailout package as the government did in 2012?
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