AirAsia India refutes “wrong-doing” as Group CEO comes under CBI scanner

New Delhi/Bengaluru, May 29 : AirAsia India (AAIL) on Tuesday refuted any "wrong-doing" after the CBI registered a case against AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes for allegedly trying to circumvent rules to get an international flying license for the airline.

According to the airline, it is co-operating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts.

"In November, 2016 AAIL had initiated criminal charges against its ex-CEO and had also commenced civil proceedings in Bangalore for such irregularities," Air Asia India's Director Shuva Mandal was quoted as saying in a statement.

"We hope to bring early resolution to all such issues."

The airline's defence comes after the CBI registered a case against the Malaysian billionaire.

The probe agency said that searches were held in multiple locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru in connection to the case.

"A case has been registered against Fernandes and some other unidentified persons linked to the firm (AirAsia India)," Gaur said.

Gaur said Fernandes had lobbied and was trying to violate rule 5/20 that requires an airline to have a minimum of five years of flying and 20 aircraft to apply for international licenses.

Interestingly, in 2016, the 5/20 norm was amended. Currently, a domestic airline requires 20 aircraft to apply for international flight rights.

BJP's Rajya Sabha member and former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy tweeted: "Finally the CBI is presently raiding Air Asia offices including of the CEO's.

It is arising from my PIL in Delhi HC."

Presently, the Delhi High Court is hearing a case filed by Swamy against the grant of a flying license of AirAsia India.

The firm -- AirAsia (India) -- is a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Berhad, with AirAsia Investment.

The budget carrier commenced operations on June 12, 2014 and currently flies to 20 destinations across India with a fleet of 18 A320 aircraft.



Source: IANS