Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia's Indian-origin founder and chief executive Tony Fernandes on Wednesday expressed his happiness at receiving the finance ministry's nod
for the airline's India entry.
AirAsia earlier in the day received regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for starting a new airline with the Tata Group and Arun Bhatia-promoted Telestra Tradeplace.
"The good always win. People and companies with good intentions to create jobs and make life of the average man better will always win," an elated Fernandes tweeted. "Thank you all. AirAsia - Tata India airline
proposal gets government nod."
In its proposal sent to the FIPB in February, Fernandes' AirAsia had said it intends to hold 49 per cent stake in the venture, which will include industrial conglomerate Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace.
The Malaysian budget carrier intends to invest anywhere between $30 million to $60 million in the airline venture.
Tata Sons will hold 30 per cent in the airline and will also have two board members, while Telestra Tradeplace, which will hold a 21 per cent stake, will be represented by Bhatia.
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The sixth board member will be an Indian national and appointed as a non-executive chairman of the board.
AirAsia said it is confident to replicate its successful business model in India which it delivers in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and other JVs.
The Tata Group has so far not said anything on the development. The Tatas had earlier tried to start an airline with Singapore International Airlines in the mid-1990s, but could not succeed.
Incidentally, India's first carrier was Tata Airlines, which took flight in 1932. In 1953, it was nationalised and renamed Air India. The other partner, Arun Bhatia, runs an aviation parts manufacturing firm, Hindustan Aerosystems, from New Delhi.
Fernandes on Tuesday had tweeted that, according to the law, he has chosen an Indian to lead the airline
"I have selected our CEO (chief executive) for Airasia India. Very smart boy from the south, madras. An amazing CV (curriculum vitae). Will impress all," Fernandes' tweet read.CAPT. GOPINATH ON: 4 things AirAsia must do to fuel growth
According to the low-cost carrier (LCC), the JV plans to operate from Chennai and will focus on providing connectivity to smaller cities.
AirAsia has a fleet of 118 aircraft and has ordered 350 planes to service its network. Currently, AirAsia through its operations based in Thailand and Malaysia operates in Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchirappalli, Kochi and Kolkata.With inputs from IANS