Free Press Journal

RBI extends ECB borrowing window for airlines till March 2015

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Mumbai: The Reserve Bank today extended the deadline for aviation sector to raise funds through external commercial borrowings (ECBs) route till March 2015, a move that would provide relief to the cash-crunched sector.

“On a review, it has been decided that this scheme of raising ECB for working capital for Civil Aviation Sector will continue till March 31, 2015,” RBI said in a notification.

As per the earlier guidelines, the scheme was valid till December 31, 2013.


The overall ECB ceiling for the entire civil aviation sector would be USD one billion and the maximum permissible ECB that can be availed by an individual airline company will be USD 300 million, it said.

This limit can be utilised for working capital as well as refinancing of the outstanding working capital Rupee loan availed of from the domestic banking system, it said.

Airline companies registered under the Companies Act, 1956 and possessing scheduled operator permit licence from Directorate General of Civil Aviation for passenger transportation are eligible to avail ECBs for working capital needs.

The ECB for working capital, it said, should be raised within 12 months from the date of issue of the circular. “ECB can be raised with a minimum average maturity period of three years,” it added.

ECB, it added, will be allowed to the airline companies based on the cash flow, foreign exchange earnings and its capability to service the debt.