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Buying on IndiGo’s international flight in rupees reality soon? Airline approaches RBI for permission

FE Online
IndiGo, Indigo international operations

Onboard sales in IndiGo s international flights could soon be done in Indian rupees if Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows relaxation in foreign exchange rules, news agency PTI reported. The budget carrier approached the central bank regarding use of domestic currency for in-flight sales on overseas routes.

An appropriate decision in this regard would be taken by the RBI after due process, the news agency reported citing Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan who told this to Lok Sabha on Friday. He also said in a written reply that the central bank has received such an application from the country’s largest airline in terms of domestic market share.

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Approval has been sought “to export currency notes up to Rs 1,50,000 to enable them to provide the change to passengers making purchases onboard in Indian rupees on its international flights”, he told the Parliament.

The airlines are free to accept Indian rupees from a passenger towards goods and services offered onboard at present, subject to provisions under the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations.

IndiGo is a low-cost airline headquartered at Gurgaon, Haryana, India. The airline was founded as a private company by Rahul Bhatia of InterGlobe Enterprises and Rakesh Gangwal, a United States-based expatriate Indian in 2006.

It took delivery of its first aircraft in July 2006 and commenced operations a month later. The airline became the largest Indian carrier in passenger market share in 2012. The company went public in November 2015.