Ratan Tata in cockpit, AirAsia boss on cloud nine

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 03, 2013 05:22 hrs

As an advisor to AirAsia, Ratan Tata will pilot the airline in its formation and after its launch later this year. But on Tuesday, Tata played the real airline pilot as he flew AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes and other company officials in a private jet to Delhi.

"My new Pilot Sir Ratan Tata flying me to Delhi. Another way AirAsia cuts costs. The advisor is a pilot,'' Fernandes tweeted after the flight. Tatas are joint venture partner in AirAsia India. On Tuesday, Fernandes and Tata met civil aviation minister Ajit Singh to discuss the airline's plans and request speedy clearances for the proposal.

"Mr Tata is one of the most successful businessmen around the world and he will help the management and the board in forming a strategy for AirAsia in the coming years. We will be discussing plans and strategy. He will be giving his input on routes, markets, distribution and the overall business plan,'' Fernandes told media persons about Tata's role in the joint venture.

Tata, a keen aviator, holds a licence for Falcon 2,000 jet and helicopter. In 2007 at the age of 69 years he had flown the F-16 fighter jet at the Bangalore air show. This feat had made him the oldest Indian to fly the US-manufactured aircraft.

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