Budget, no-frills airline Air Asia, on Saturday, said that the airline will dedicate its first aircraft to KCG Verghese, the founder of Hindustan Group of Institutions, once it gets the licence to operate in India.
Speaking after receiving the Dr K C G Lifetime Achievement Award, the group chief executive officer of Air Asia Tan Tony Fernandes said that the airline was planning to revolutionise air travel in India with affordable fares.
“We will be in India and will have our head office in Chennai,” said Fernandes, who had bought the airline in 2001.
“When I bought the airline, I had only two aircraft. Now after 12 years I have 156 aircraft and cater to 44 million people,” said Fernandes.
He vowed to recruit the airline staff in India from Hindustan group of institutions, besides offering cheap fares so that even a common man can think of flying in a aircraft.
His statements comes in the wake of Union Government planning 50 low cost airports in India. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E M Sudarshan Natchiappan, who was the special guest during the occasion, urged Fernandes to think of operating Air Asia aircraft from Madurai airport.
The event also had added attraction when K C G Verghese excellence awards were bestowed upon S Priyadarshan Nair, eminent film director, producer and screen writer in the field of culture and entertainment, Troy Justice, senior director basketball operations, International NBA in the field of sport, Munirathnam Javaji, director of Assystem India for distinguished alumnus and Dilip R Vellodi, chairman and CEO of Sutherland Global Services for excellence in the field of business.
Speaking during the occasion, Nair went down memory lane and highlighted how his father never focused on his career in films and preferred the teaching profession.
“Now with this award, my father will be happy as the university has accepted my contribution to cinema,” the noted film director said.
Troy Justice also highlighted his fondness of India and how NBA was reaching out to underprivileged students in the country.
Commandant Officers Training Academy Lt General S S Jog highlighted how Hindustan group of institutions and OTA shared the same values in nurturing the youth of the nation.
Former director general of Tamil Nadu police Walter Devaram highlighted his relationship with K C G Verghese during the MGR era.
Speaking during the occasion, chairperson of Hindustan Group of institutions Elizabeth Verghese said that the award aimed at recognising individuals whose achievements and contribution made them role models for the younger generation.
A net amount of Rs 3 crore was awarded as scholarship for students of Hindustan group of institutions who have excelled in sports.