The CBI on Tuesday booked Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes among others under the Prevention of Corruption Act for violating aviation rule to get international flying licenses.
Air Asia India Limited (AAIL) released a statement on Wednesday saying that the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) investigated the allegations concerning indirect foreign control of the company in violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) norms and found nothing wrong. “Allegations concerning indirect foreign control of AirAsia India Ltd. (“AAIL”) allegedly in violation of FIPB norms have been fully investigated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (“DGCA”) and the DGCA has passed a detailed and reasoned 12 page order to this effect on February 8, 2017 (“DGCA Order”). The DGCA Order was pursuant to an investigation exercise mandated by the Delhi High Court by its order on November 11, 2016 in Writ Petition (C) No. 1373 of 2014,” read the statement.
The statement further stated that the DGCA order had ruled that the operations and management of AAIL were in accordance with FEMA, FDI Regulations and the FIPB approvals granted to the airline. “Furthermore, the DGCA Order ruled that the terms of the Brand Licence Agreement (BLA) were meant only for ensuring uniformity of brand use and quality of services and that such terms are for benefit of passengers. The DGCA noted that the BLA is a common practice in the aviation industry. In this backdrop, AAIL believes that to allege that control of AAIL is not in accordance with foreign exchange investment laws is incongruous. AAIL will be co-operating with the relevant authorities to facilitate an early conclusion of this matter,” it added.
The CBI on Tuesday booked Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes among others under the Prevention of Corruption Act for violating aviation rule to get international flying licenses. The probe agency also booked Air Asia Director, Bengaluru Ramachandran Venkatraman, and DTA consultancy Pvt Ltd founder Deepak Talwar. The investigative agency alleged that the Air Asia Group CEO lobbied with government servants for clearances, removal of existing 5/20 aviation rule and change in regulatory policies.
Under the 5/20 rule, a company needs a minimum of five years of flying experience and is also required to have 20 aircraft in their possession in order to become eligible for the license.