"The civil aviation ministry should persuade the finance ministry to grant the aviation industry the infrastructure status, instead of the service sector status which we have now," Mallya said.
Pointing out that the sector transported thousands of tonnes of equipment and passengers across the country on a daily basis, he argued that grant of infrastructure status would help ease dealings with the RBI as well as commercial banks, both in the private and public sectors.
"It will make an enormous difference in our credit rating and financial arrangements," Mallya said.
Queried about the operational tie-up entered into with Jet Airways, Mallya confirmed thathe synergies involved in curtailing costs were "working very well. ... We are coordinating in many ways. Obviously it is a process that takes time to unfold."
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, civil aviation secretary M Madhavan Nambiar, former Air India CMD V Thulasidass, director general of civil aviation Nasim Zaidi and his predecessors K Gohain and Satinder Singh.