Logistics

‘No issues with Tata-SIA venture’

Our Bureaus New Delhi/Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on September 28, 2013

Tony Fernandes



Tony Fernandes, AirAsia India’s largest shareholder, has said he has “no issues” with the Tata-Singapore Airlines project. AirAsia India is a joint venture (JV) between AirAsia, Tata Sons, and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd, for a new low-cost airline. The joint venture was announced in February. .

Then, earlier this month, Tata Sons announced another JV with Singapore Airlines, this time for a full service airline in India. Tata Sons will be the majority shareholder in this JV.

“I have and continue to have no issues on SIA and Tata. These are two very separate businesses,” Fernandes tweeted as AirAsia India held its first board meeting in Mumbai on Saturday. AirAsia India’s Chief Executive Officer Mittu Chandilya confirmed that the board meeting was “buzzing with ideas and raring to get going”.

But Arun Bhatia of Telestra, who had raised questions on Tata Sons tying up with Singapore Airlines after agreeing to the AirAsia venture, was conspicuous by his silence.

Late last week, after news of the Tata-SIA project became public, Bhatia had spoken out against the tie-up saying he was not informed, a point Tata Sons denied. Attempts to reach Bhatia on his mobile phone did not yield results.

The board meeting, which went on for about two hours, was attended by all the members, with Fernandes participating through video conference. What transpired at the board meeting on Saturday was not made public. Fernandes, however, tweeted that there was superb co-operation between the partners.

“I am confident we will make a profit in the first year. And change aviation,” he tweeted.

On its part, AirAsia India, which was granted a No Objection Certificate by the Ministry of Civil Aviation last week, has now started the process of applying for an operating permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

>ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

>raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 28, 2013
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