No delay in clearing AirAsia’s JV: Ajit Singh

Published: 18th March 2013 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2013 08:51 AM   |  A+A-


There would be no delay in granting necessary approvals to Malaysian carrier AirAsia for its proposal to start an airline here with Tatas if all required information is provided to government agencies, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said here on Sunday.

“There are some procedural issues which will be settled and there is nothing to worry. We welcome AirAsia-Tata Joint Venture and hope that it will be operational soon,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Routes Asia Conference here.

“The procedure is (that) they have to get a no objection certificate (NOC) from the ministry. The Home Ministry will also check the directors’ background... and we will check (if) adequate capital requirement is there, two-third directors are Indians among others.

“And once they get the NOC, they will go to DGCA to get the operator’s permit...a lot of information and data is needed because safety is a very big concern in this sector... But, if the JV provides the required data, there will be no delay from the ministry and DGCA in making the joint venture operational,” he said.

The minister was reacting to media reports about the joint venture getting stalled at the Civil Aviation Ministry as it was apparently not keen to allow the Malaysian company to start a new venture in the country.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board on March 6 had cleared the AirAsia’s bid to launch an airline in India by joining hands with Tata Sons where the AirAsia would hold 49% stake, Tata Sons 30% and Arun Bhatia of Telestra 21%.

Referring to the possible Jet-Etihad deal, the minister said that something positive is happening in this space.

“They (Jet-Etihad) are discussing and the fact that recently Jet sold their slots in London and leased them back, means something positive is going on there,” he said adding that the ministry is considering the Jet’s request for code sharing with Etihad positively.

The government is going to start talks with Abu Dhabi for more traffic rights as all the existing rights were nearly exhausted, he said. 

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