India’s Bureau of Investigation probes AirAsia India and Tony Fernandes
The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday started proceedings against AirAsia India and AirAsia Group CEO and co-founder, Tony Fernandes, alongside other executives. Read More » The CBI alleges Fernandes and his airline breached regulations to ease the airline's operations, including obtaining an air operator’s certificate (AOC) faster than usual.
New Delhi-based CBI is alleging that public servants, including at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and others “entered into a conspiracy” with a director at AirAsia India, Tony Fernandes and others with the intent of helping AirAsia India “expedite the approval process and change in aviation policies to suit the company”.
The CBI is further alleging that AirAsia violated Foreign Investment Promotion Board and Foreign Direct Investment structural norms “by giving effective management control to a foreign entity” by making AirAsia India “a de-facto subsidiary indirectly rather than a joint venture”.
The federal police also are accusing the defendants of colluding to remove or amend the 5/20 rule.
The CBI raided five offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, which it said “led to the recovery of certain documents”.
AirAsia India launched as a domestic carrier in 2014. The airline is a 49:51 joint venture between Malaysia’s AirAsia Group and Indian conglomerate Tata Group.
AirAsia India now operates 18 A320ceo. The budget airline has mounted plans to grow its fleet to 60 aircraft over the course of five years.
Fernandes and his team are denying the allegations. “AirAsia completely denies these accusations and will vigorously defend itself against these to the fullest extent of the law. Legal action to protect AirAsia and its interests against these allegations will be taken against any person who is known to have maliciously and frivolously instigated, and or smeared the good reputation of individuals and shareholders of AirAsia India,” AirAsia said.