Tata Group, AirAsia Bhd deal: Tony Fernandes to invest $50 mn, puts 'flying license' onus on Indian govt
Asked whether the entry of the new airline promoted by AirAsia would lead to the demise of some existing airline, Fernandes replied "businesses put themselves out of business. It is not competition which puts them out. If an airline is rightly capitalised, follows the right business model and the right people are running it, there should be no problem."
The chief of Air Asia, which recently denied it was bidding for a stake in SpiceJet, said "enough market exists in India for all of us. It is a question of finding the right structure and partners and we have chosen excellent partners."
He also said that this was a "renaissance period" in the Indian aviation sector, with the government keen on attracting investment for the domestic airlines.
This was the first concrete announcement of FDI flowing into the Indian aviation sector since the FDI policy for aviation was liberalised last September to allow foreign airlines invest in Indian carriers.
Fernandes said, "We strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce AirAsia's low fares which stimulate travel and grow the market."
For the USD 100 billion Tata Group, this would be its second foray into the aviation segment after the late JRD Tata launched Air India before the Independence. The Tatas had also gone through the botched up process of Air India disinvestment in 2001, along with Singapore
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