The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Tuesday they have filed a case against AirAsia Group Bhd, the airline’s CEO Tony Fernandes and its domestic entity AirAsia India, over allegations of corruption and breaking rules in obtaining a flying licence.
The violations happen between 2013 and 2016 and ”AirAsia applied for licences in 2013 and by May 2014 they got air operating permit”, a senior CBI official told.
CBI’s first information report (FIR) says the violations occurred from 2013 to 2016, before the government eased restrictions on Indian airlines starting overseas flights in June 2016. The rule that bars giving management control to foreigners remains.
”Tony Fernandes wanted the airline to be able to fly internationally from day one and their local Indian partner – Tata Sons Ltd through their nominee R Venkatramanan would lobby to get all government approvals including the then Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance and amendment/removal of 5/20 rule of Indian International Civil Aviation,” says CBI.
Tata sons lobbied to get government approvals including FIPB clearance and amendment or removal of the 5/20 rule.
Tony fernandes is also under investigation in Malaysia in a dispute with the Malaysian Aviation Committee over the cancellation of 120 flights during the general election period earlier in May.
Air Asia Group Bhd, said in January it was considering an IPO of the Indian Operation (Air Asia India).