AirAsia chief will visit India, may meet Aviation officials

Last Updated: Sun, May 05, 2013 09:11 hrs

AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes will visit India shortly and may meet Civil Aviation Ministry officials, amid reports that the government has raised certain queries on their application seeking official nod to launch AirAsia India operations.

"I will come to India soon and you can ask me all the questions," Fernandes told PTI in a text message.

AirAsia India, which last month got FIPB approval to set up a joint venture airline, has applied to the Civil Aviation Ministry to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for launching its operations in the country.

In the new airline, AirAsia will hold 49 per cent stake, Tata Sons, 30 per cent, and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace the remaining 21 per cent.

On receipt of the application, the Ministry recently raised questions on AirAsia India not providing the names and nationalities of its Chairman, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

The names are required for mandatory security clearance by the Union Home Ministry, before an NOC is granted.

The promoters can approach aviation regulator DGCA for their flying licence only after the company receives the NOC from the Ministry.

Fernandes said "no comments" when asked about the questions raised by the Ministry.

Fernandes had earlier tweeted that AirAsia India Board has approved and appointed a Chief Executive Officer for the proposed carrier, but did not identify the person.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had also suggested on Friday that the proposed airline would save time if it named the CEO of the company soon.

"I saw in the papers that the CEO's name was not there. So, asking that is really helping them because they have to go through the security clearance. If they reply, that will save time later on, otherwise it will pull on," Singh had told reporters in Delhi.

"If we get all the required data, it should be cleared very soon," Singh had said.

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