AirAsia India refutes “wrong-doing” as Group CEO comes under CBI scanner

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New Delhi/Bengaluru, May 29 (IANS) AirAsia India (AAIL) on Tuesday refuted any “wrong-doing” after the CBI registered a case against AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes for allegedly trying to circumvent rules to get an international flying license for the airline.

According to the airline, it is co-operating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts.

“In November, 2016 AAIL had initiated criminal charges against its ex-CEO and had also commenced civil proceedings in Bangalore for such irregularities,” Air Asia India’s Director Shuva Mandal was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We hope to bring early resolution to all such issues.”

The airline’s defence comes after the CBI registered a case against the Malaysian billionaire.

The probe agency said that searches were held in multiple locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru in connection to the case.

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“A case has been registered against Fernandes and some other unidentified persons linked to the firm (AirAsia India),” Gaur said.

Gaur said Fernandes had lobbied and was trying to violate rule 5/20 that requires an airline to have a minimum of five years of flying and 20 aircraft to apply for international licenses.

Interestingly, in 2016, the 5/20 norm was amended. Currently, a domestic airline requires 20 aircraft to apply for international flight rights.

BJP’s Rajya Sabha member and former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy tweeted: “Finally the CBI is presently raiding Air Asia offices including of the CEO’s. It is arising from my PIL in Delhi HC.”

Presently, the Delhi High Court is hearing a case filed by Swamy against the grant of a flying license of AirAsia India.

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The firm — AirAsia (India) — is a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Berhad, with AirAsia Investment.

The budget carrier commenced operations on June 12, 2014 and currently flies to 20 destinations across India with a fleet of 18 A320 aircraft.

–IANS

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