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AirAsia plans Indian airline joint venture

An AirAsia plane at the Sukarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta January 30, 2013. — Reuters picAn AirAsia plane at the Sukarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta January 30, 2013. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 –- AirAsia Bhd has submitted an application to the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to seek approval for AirAsia Investment Ltd to invest 49 per cent into a proposed Indian airline joint-venture.

In a statement, AirAsia said the joint-venture would be between AirAsia Investment, Tata Sons Ltd and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd.

The proposed joint-venture company, subject to FIPB’s approval, would make an application to Indian aviation regulators for the Air Operators Permit.

“The parties have signed a memorandum of agreement that details high-level terms with regards to the proposed partnership.

“We believe Indian aviation has enormous long-term growth potential and is expected to produce tremendous upside for first movers.

“The joint-venture plans to operate from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, focused on providing domestic tier II/tier III city connectivity to Indian travellers.

“Currently, AirAsia through its operations based in Thailand and Malaysia already connects Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchirappalli, Kochi and Kolkata to Asean,” it said.

Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the group had carefully evaluated developments in India over the last few years.

“We strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce AirAsia’s low fares which stimulate travel and grow the market,” he added. – Bernama

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