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Tata's dream to fly takes wings; JV with AirAsia cleared

Last updated on: March 26, 2013 15:47 IST

Tata's dream to fly takes wings; JV with AirAsia cleared

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Government said on Tuesday it has cleared Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia's proposal to start a passenger airline in India in partnership with the Tata Group with an investment of Rs 81 crore (Rs 810 million).

The proposal was cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, Finance Ministry said in a statement.

AirAsia recently said it would set up a 49:30:21 joint venture with the Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace of Indian investor Arun Bhatia to launch a new Indian airline.

Asked whether AirAsia and Tatas have approached his Ministry, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh today said: "No, they have not submitted any application as yet."

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Image: An Airbus A340 AirAsia X passenger jet arrives on its inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to Paris.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters
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Tata's dream to fly takes wings; JV with AirAsia cleared

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To further questions, he said there were "some concerns . . . some procedural issues" with regard to the proposed airline.

"We will look into it quickly.

"But all that will depend on how fast they provide us the information regarding safety, aircraft, pilots and airworthiness of aircraft.

"Any clearance will depend on how fast they give all this information which will be required by the DGCA (to grant them a flying permit)," the Minister said.

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Image: Ratan Tata.
Photographs: Reuters
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Tata's dream to fly takes wings; JV with AirAsia cleared

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The FIPB clearance was granted in accordance with the policy which allows up to 49 per cent FDI by a foreign carrier in an Indian airline company.

AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up a joint venture in the Indian passenger airline segment after liberalisation of the FDI policy in the sector last September.

Following the FIPB clearance, the AirAsia joint venture would now have to approach aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation for further clearances and a scheduled air operator's permit.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes recently said the new airline would be based in Chennai and in the initial phase would concentrate on destinations in south India and would also focus on providing connectivity to small towns.



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