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AirAsia gets FIPB nod for its airline venture

AirAsia gets FIPB nod for its airline venture
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Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia on Wednesday received regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for starting a new...

plain Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia on Wednesday received regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for starting a new airline venture in the Indian civil aviation sector with partners like 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 Tony Fernandes, Air Asia's Indian origin founder and chief executive, tweeted. "Thank you all. AirAsia - Tata India airline proposal gets government nod." In its proposal sent to the FIPB last month, the company had said that it intends to hold 49 percent 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. When contacted a senior finance ministry official said, "The proposal has been accepted under merit and policy." However, the civil aviation ministry had earlier sort a clarification from FIPB on the new foreign direct investment policy in the domestic airline sector. The ministry wanted to know whether the new rules were exclusively for existing domestic airlines or even for new start-ups. Tata Sons will hold 30 percent in the airline and will also have two board members, while Telestra Tradeplace, which will hold a 21 percent stake, will be represented by Bhatia. The sixth board member will be an Indian national and appointed as a non-executive chairman of the board.
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Fernandes on Tuesday further twitted that he has chosen an Indian to lead the airline, as per law. "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 said in a tweet. According to the low-cost carrier (LCC), the JV plans to operate from Chennai and will focus on providing connectivity to smaller cities. It plans to start operations by the end of 2013. After AirAsia, Tiger Airways eyes tie-up After Malaysia's AirAsia, Singapore-based low-cost carrier Tiger Airways is exploring the possibility of a strategic partnership with an India-based airline for offering intra-city services in India, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
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