Etihad Airways’ had some concerns about its investment in Jet AirwaysBSE -0.86 % after the change of guard in the Indian government this May, but is now convinced that its investment is not just safe but also likely to prosper under the new business-friendly Modi administration.
“I came here wanting to ensure that the environment in which we invested was still there and I leave convinced that I can tell our stakeholders that not only is the investment safe, but there’s a very clear road map with a leadership that is moving forward in the right direction for businesses like us,” Etihad CEO and president James Hogan said.
Hogan, who was a co-chair at the WEF’s India Economic Summit, said that India’s dynamic and active economy has been bound by regulation and bureaucracy, and it has been a tough twelve months for the foreign airlines since it decided to acquire stake in India’s Jet Airways.
“There was the complexity of investing as the first airline entering the market and we knew it would be a long journey… making sure that we never break the investment rules, work effectively with the processes at Sebi and the Competition Commission,” said Hogan, adding that though it could be said that the process has been extremely bureaucratic, the airline is facing similar processes in Germany and Italy too. Expressing confidence in its Jet investment, Hogan said that India is a big in-bound, domestic and outbound market with 40 million Indians travelling internationally each year.