AirAsia India finally gets flying permit after 6-mth wait

May 07 2014, 22:30 IST
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Air Asia is expected to start its operations in India by July this year. AP Air Asia is expected to start its operations in India by July this year. AP
SummaryAirAsia all set to fly in India; first flight slated for July this year.

AirAsia India has finally got the Air Operator Permit (AOP), which was required by the airline to start its operations in the country, after nearly a six month wait.

This is subject to a July 11 decision of Delhi High Court, when it will hear a plea from Bharatiya Janata Party’s Subramanian Swamy and Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) against granting operational status to the airline.

The Chief Executive of the airline, Mittu Chandilya, on Wednesday tweeted saying , “Boom! 1815Hrs (IST) today AirAsiaIndia was born.So proud of my team.Who is ready to revolutionize Air Travel in India.”

The airline is expected to start its operations by July.  A senior AirAsia India official had recently told FE that the airline would start its operations by July, provided it got the AOP by May.

The road to start its operations in India had been marred by delay and litigation for the airline, which had earlier  aimed at starting commercial operations by the January-March 2014.

This was delayed to March-May period after Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) called for public objections to the launch of the airline on January 20. The airline had earlier obtained approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on April 2013, which cleared  the $30-million deal to launch AirAsia India. The Civil Aviation Ministry gave a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the airline during September last year.

"There is already an over capacity in the industry. We have seen drastic price wars and airlines' with bleeding balance sheets. With AirAsia India becoming operational this is likely to continue," said Deep Narayan Mukherjee , ‎Senior Director at India Ratings & Research - A Fitch Group Company

The last leg of regulatory formalities with officials of the DGCA onboard the airline’s first Airbus A320, was completed on May 1.

The airline also got a breather from the Supreme Court in May, when the apex court refused to pass any interim order on a plea by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Subramanian Swamy seeking to restrain approvals to operationalize the AirAsia India deal.

DGCA  has granted the airline in-principle approval to import 10 Airbus A-320-200 aircraft in December last year.

Industry experts say that the arrival of AirAsia India is a good news for the

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