Tata Group, AirAsia Bhd deal: Tony Fernandes to invest $50 mn, puts 'flying license' onus on Indian govt
The airline, which would be based on the low-cost, no-frill model, would launch its operations with three to four Airbus A-320 aircraft and "scale up (the fleet) quickly thereafter," AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said in a global teleconference from Malaysia.
The airline would be based in Chennai and in the initial phase concentrate on destinations in South India where AirAsia already operates, he said.
AirAsia's initial investment in the airline, which would be run through a joint venture that includes the Tata Group and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace, would be about USD 50 million.
Asked by when the new airline would take to the sky, Fernandes said "it is in the hands of the Indian regulator … but most likely it will start by the fourth quarter" of this year or the winter season.
"It will have a fleet of A-320s. We plan to start with three to four planes and scale up quickly after that," he said.
While the board of the airline would be dominated by Indians, Fernandes said the name of the CEO would be announced in the next few weeks and that of the airline's senior management soon thereafter.
The Malaysian budget carrier had yesterday announced that its investment arm AirAsia Investment (AAIL) "has submitted an application to the
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