AirAsia India, the newly formed no frills airline by the Tata group, Malaysia-based AirAsia and another Indian investor, is understood to have filed an application with the Civil Aviation Ministry seeking permission to formally start operations later this year.

The joint venture company is likely to have at least six members on its board, comprising two nominees each from AirAsia and Tata Sons and one representative from Telestra Tradeplace, the third partner. There would be an independent director on the board, who would also be the non-executive Chairman.

Tata Sons has nominated R. Venkatraman, former executive assistant to Ratan Tata, and Bharat Vasani, chief legal counsel of the Tata group, on the board. AirAsia would be represented by Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Bin Meranun, who are among the largest shareholders in AirAsia Bhd, while Arun Bhatia would represent Telstra Tradeplace. The joint venture received a formal approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board earlier this month to set up the company.

The airline has a fleet of Airbus A320 planes. It has even started hiring of cabin and cockpit crew.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh described the over Rs.2,000-crore business proposal between Jet Airways and Etihad Airways as a win-win deal that would benefit the flyers. “It provides more competition and more connectivity and better efficiency,’’ Mr. Singh told reporters outside Parliament.

Asked whether the deal would escalate the fare war and competition in the market, he said competition was always good for any industry. On the impact on the national carrier, Mr. Singh said Air India had limited operations. “If you do not allow other airlines to come wherever they want, how will the passengers fly? Air India should look after themselves and gear up,’’ he added.

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