The proposal is the first after the government opened the aviation sector for foreign investment

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will, on March 6, take up the application of Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, which is looking at entering the Indian aviation sector through a joint venture with the Tata Group and another company.

According to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s agenda, the AirAsia proposal has been listed for a meeting on March 6.

AirAsia has applied to the FIPB to take a 49 per cent stake in a venture with Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia's Telestra Tradeplace.

The proposal from the Malaysian carrier is the first after the government opened the aviation sector for foreign investment in September last.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes on Thursday said the new airline was looking to start flying from this year-end with 3-4 planes and an initial investment of about $50 million.

The proposed joint venture would operate from Chennai and would focus on providing domestic connectivity to Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

As per current rules, a carrier must complete five years of domestic operations before becoming eligible for starting overseas flights.

AirAsia, through its operations based in Thailand and Malaysia, flies to Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Tiruchirappalli and Kolkata.

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