Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia has received formal approval from the government to start an airline in India.
“This approval will enable AirAsia (India) to apply with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the aviation licence to operate as an Indian airline,” the airline said on Friday.
AirAsia is Asia’s largest low-cost carrier in terms fleet size and with a route network that spans through to over 20 countries. While AirAsia will hold a 49% stake in the proposed airline, its Indian partners’ — the Tata Group and Arun Bhatia, a close relative of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal — stake would be 30% and 21%, respectively.
Meanwhile, PTI reported that AirAsiaX, the long-haul arm of AirAsia, had no plans to resume flights to India and Europe till next year. The airline stopped flying to London, Paris and some Indian cities last year due to higher taxes and jet fuel prices.