AirAsia has no problem with the Tatas starting another airline with Singapore Airlines (SIA), its group Chairman Tony Fernandes has said.
Mr. Fernandes was here to attend the first board meeting of AirAsia India. The board meeting took place at Bombay House, the headquarters of the over $100-billion Tata group, here on Saturday.
Contrary to expectations of a stormy board meeting, as Arun Bhatia, one of the partners of AirAsia India with 21 per cent stake, had publicly voiced his objection to the Tata-SIA deal, the meeting went through smoothly as the deal did not come up for discussion, according to officials. “That matter was not in the agenda of discussion,” sources said, adding that the matter was sorted out well in advance. Ahead of the board meeting, Mr. Fernandes had tweeted: “First AirAsia India board meeting. Superb cooperation between partners. I’m confident we will make profit in first year. And change aviation.”
In another tweet he said: “I have and continue to have no issue on SIA and Tata. No difference to Ginger and Taj hotels. These are two very separate businesses.”
AirAsia India is close to start operations as it has received no objection certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The next step is to get flying permit from the Director General of Civil Aviation, and once it is obtained AirAsia India is planning to start flying operation around December.
It will start with three aircraft from its base in Channai and 200 people have already been hired.