Decks cleared for AirAsia to take off

Decks cleared for AirAsia to take off

AirAsia India on Wednesday got the final nod for a take off from the aviation regulator but the joint venture will have to wait for conclusion of a case in the Delhi High Court to start operations.

Once operationalised, the $30 billion venture in which the Tatas and Telestra are playing second fiddle to Malaysian carrier AirAsia Bhd, will trigger a fare war that is likely to benefit fliers.

Before starting operations, AirAsia India will have to wait for the outcome of the High Court case though AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya claimed that they are prepared to start operations from June.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) final clearance came amid an inconclusive fight in Delhi High Court over granting of licence. The regulator has cleared the file on Air Operators Permit (AOP) on the ground that the High Court has not stayed the official proceedings.

“What a battle that was. Proud day for me and all AirAsia all stars. History has been made today in aviation, everything has been hard for AirAsia but we never gave up. Today AirAsia India has got approval,” AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted.
Chandilya tweeted, “Boom. 1815 hours (IST) today AirAsia India was born. So proud of my team. Who is ready to revolutionise air travel in India.”

“We started this journey and have gone through seven and half months of AOP process. We thank the DGCA, Civil Aviation Ministry, as they have been helpful and instrumental in helping us get the license. We are prepared to start operations from June this year,” he told reporters.

BJP leader ubramanian Swamy, who is among the petitioners in the court, “condemned” the DGCA’s decision and said it was done in “reckless disregard of the rules and regulations”.

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