AirAsia to invest up to RM186m into Indian airline venture

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 – Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd , Asia’s biggest budget carrier, will invest between US$30 million to US$60 million (RM93.17 million to RM186.34 million) into its new airline venture in India, said chief executive Tony Fernandes on a conference call with the media yesterday.

The company has sought approval to establish a new airline with unlisted Indian firms Tata Sons Ltd and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd.

AirAsia, through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment Ltd, intends to own 49 per cent of the venture with the remaining stake held by the two Indian firms. The venture plans to operate from Chennai in southern India and provide domestic flight options.

India’s aviation industry, which has seen continued losses due to high operating costs and regulatory uncertainty, was opened to foreign investors in September last year.

AirAsia presently flies to four south Indian cities and the eastern city of Kolkata in addition to 20 countries across Asia. – Reuters


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