Ownership and control of AirAsia with Indians: DGCA to High Court

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    On FIA’s plea, the court had on November 11 last year asked DGCA to peruse the BLA between AirAsia India and AirAsia Berhad to determine who controls the low-cost carrier.

    The ownership and control of AirAsia India would remain with Indian nationals under its Brand Licensing Agreement (BLA) with its parent company, Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad, aviation regulator DGCA said today. The submission by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) before the Delhi High Court was made in response to the allegation of the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) that as per the BLA, the ownership and control of the airline was with the foreign entity.

    On FIA’s plea, the court had on November 11 last year asked DGCA to peruse the BLA between AirAsia India and AirAsia Berhad to determine who controls the low-cost carrier.

    The DGCA report said “based on the review of BLA along with provisions of Aircraft Rules 1937 and definition of control as provided in FDI policy, I do not find that the terms and conditions laid down in BLA dilute the substantial ownership and effective control of AirAsia India vested with Indian nationals.” It also said that the “status of issuance of air operator permit (or flying licence) to AirAsia India does not change”.

    Meanwhile, AirAsia India opposed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s application to make R Venkataramanan, Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and a member of the Board of AirAsia India Pvt Ltd, a party in the case.

    Swamy has sought impleadment of Venkataramanan on the basis of a letter of Cyrus Mistry, ex-Chairman of Tata Sons, that there was an alleged fraudulent transaction of Rs 22 crore in connection with the setting up of AirAsia India.

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    The BJP leader had also sought summoning of the report of a forensic investigation by an auditing firm into the alleged fraudulent transaction, which was reportedly revealed in Mistry’s letter of October 25.

    AirAsia India has said in its reply saying that Swamy’s allegations had no connection with the main matter pertaining to grant of flying licence to the airline. The applications by FIA and Swamy have been filed in the petitions challenging the flying licence granted to AirAsia India.

    Malaysia’s largest budget-carrier AirAsia had set up AirAsia India, as a joint venture with the Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace to launch the regional airline in India.

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