AirAsia India gets ministry nod

Last Updated 26 September 2013, 20:59 IST

AirAsia India has moved one step closer towards kick-starting operations, with the Civil Aviation Ministry granting it a crucial “No Objection Certificate (NOC).” The airline now requires an Air Operating Permit (AOP) from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The NOC, issued last week, comes within seven months of AirAsia entering into a joint venture with Tata Sons Ltd and Telestra Tradeplace. It got the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s approval in April.

The airline hopes to start operations in this fiscal. AirAsia operates in Thailand and Malaysia and connects Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchirapalli, Kochi and Kolkata in India.
“I am thrilled to announce AirAsia has received NOC from the Government of India. Very exciting and hugely profitable,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes posted on Twitter. He “praised” the government for “the quickest approval ever.”

AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya said in a statement that the airline will now focus on obtaining the AOP.

“We will continue with our preparations and get ourselves ready for take-off once the AOP is acquired.”

Before granting the AOP, the DGCA will examine the airline’s preparedness to launch flights. It will look into issues like fleet strength, manpower, aircraft parking space at airports and engineering facilities.

At present, AirAsia India has a fleet of three Airbus A320 aircraft and over 200 staff. The statement said AirAsia India is confident that it will be able to replicate the success of its counterparts in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Malaysian airline AirAsia has 49 per cent stake in the airline, followed by the Tatas (30 per cent) and Telstra Tradeplace (21 per cent).

Tata Sons recently announced plans to launch another airline in collaboration with Singapore Airlines. The Tatas will have 51 per cent stake in this venture, which could be named Tata-SIA Airline.

(Published 26 September 2013, 20:59 IST)

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