FIPB gives all-clear for AirAsia takeoff
Since the investment is less than R1,200 crore, it will not require clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the procedure to obtain a scheduled air operator’s permit can now begin.
“It has been cleared,” Arvind Mayaram, economic affairs secretary, told newspersons. “Now they will have to take the necessary licences from the DGCA. They can start operating once they get the licence,” he added.
The last time the Directorate General of Civil Aviation gave a new licence was in 2006 to the low-cost carrier IndiGo.
AirAsia will hold 49% in the joint venture AirAsia India through its investment arm AirAsia Investment, Tata Sons will hold 30% while Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace will hold 21%. Tata Sons will invest R48.58 crore while Telestra will invest R34 crore.
The approval came despite apprehensions in certain quarters that the proposal may face tough questions from the FIPB as the joint venture does not officially exist and it does not have an air operator’s permit. There were doubts if a greenfield airline venture will qualify since the relaxation in FDI guidelines was for existing Indian carriers.
However, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh later clarified when he said: “I don’t see any major hurdles for the
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