KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 2018 : Air Asia India Ltd (AAIL) is refuting India’s Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) accusation against Air Asia Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes over an alleged violation of rules in seeking international flying permits.
“AAIL refutes any wrong-doing and is cooperating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts. We hope to bring early resolution to all such issues,” AAIL Director Shuva Mandal said in a statement today.
According to a report by the Press Trust of India, the CBI filed a case against Fernandes, accusing him of manipulating government policies through bribery and violating regulations to get an international licence for its Indian venture.
The CBI alleged that Fernandes and several others had influenced Indian officials for the removal of a rule which required India-based carriers to complete at least five years of operations and have 20 aircraft deployed in the domestic market before flying overseas, referred to as the 5/20 rule.
Over the past two years, the Indian government had changed several policies to attract foreign direct investment in its airline sector, including the 5/20 rule.
AirAsia India is a joint venture between India’s Tata Sons Ltd and AirAsia Bhd, which started operating in June 2014.
AirAsia Bhd owned 49 per cent of the India-based carrier, which currently has 18 aircraft, and planned to fly abroad after its acquired two more aircraft.
At 12.30 pm, AirAsia Group’s shares on Bursa Malaysia were 20 sen lower at RM3.11 with 21.19 million shares changing hands.
Meanwhile, AirAsia X’s shares slipped one sen to 36.5 sen with 19.11 million shares transacted. – Bernama