AirAsia is planning to start its operations in India by May-June this year, a person with the knowledge of the development said, as per a Economic Times report. The carrier had earlier planned to launch its operations in the country towards the end of 2013. “AirAsia is currently preparing a ground so that as soon as the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) clearance comes they should be able to launch operations,” the person said.
Last month, AirAsia had announced a joint venture (JV) with Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia's Telestra Tradeplace Pvt. Ltd for a scheduled domestic airline. The approval for the JV proposal is pending before the FIPB, which approves proposals that require government permission. The matter is likely to come up for a hearing tomorrow. Tata Sons will hold 30 per cent in the company and AirAsia will have a 49 per cent stake. The rest will be held by Bhatia. The person quoted above said the airline's top officials met up with India's Ministry of Civil Aviation Ministry officials and discussed a plan to launch operations early.
The airline, according to the person, has also zeroed in on its key officials for the India operations and would be submitting their names to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) once the FIPB approval comes through. "The DGCA wants the name of the key officials to be in place at the time an application is placed before the regulator for an air operating permit and it's only prudent that these top-level guys are identified," the person said.