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HC refuses to stay flying permit granted to AirAsia India

PTI  New Delhi, May 09, 2014
First Published: 14:04 IST(9/5/2014) | Last Updated: 14:07 IST(9/5/2014)

The Delhi high court on Friday refused to stay grant of flying licence to new airline AirAsia India by aviation regulator DGCA.


A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog disposed of the application filed by Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), saying that there is no urgency as the flying permit will be subject to the outcome of the petition challenging the approvals being granted to AirAsia India deal, which is scheduled to come up for hearing on July 11.

"There is no urgency. The AOP (Air Operator's Permit or flying licence) granted will be subject to the outcome of the writ petition. The application is disposed of accordingly," the bench said.

"Just because the situation has changed a little bit does not mean a fresh cause of action has to be initiated," it said.

AirAsia India was granted the flying licence by DGCA on May 7.

AirAsia India's CEO Mittu Chandilya had earlier said, "We will be launching flights in about two to three months. We would soon be filing our flight schedules for approval from the DGCA, and after the approval we would seek slots at the different airports." The high court had on Thursday agreed to hear FIA's plea challenging grant of flying licence to AirAsia India by DGCA.

Read: AirAsia India granted flying licence by DGCA

The interim application moved by FIA had sought to restrain AirAsia India from commencing its scheduled air transport operations during the pendency of the petition.

The plea had also sought "to restrain the Centre from granting any decision or grant of any further approvals/ permissions/NOC/permits in favour of AirAsia India".

The petition had submitted that a direction be issued to DGCA to restrain AirAsia India from scheduling flights and selling tickets to the passengers.

It had alleged that the grant of AOP to the new airline by DGCA was in "complete defiance of this court's order as the matter is sub-judice".

The high court had on May 1 decided to constitute a special bench to hear pleas seeking quashing of approvals being granted by the Centre to operationalise the $30 million deal between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia.

Read: AirAsia India fares will be 30% cheaper than existing ones: CEO

FIA has filed two separate petitions challenging the approvals being granted to AirAsia India and Tata-SIA Airlines deals respectively.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has also filed a PIL opposing the clearance granted to the deal.

Swamy and FIA are opposing clearance to the deal on the ground that according to government policy, foreign direct investment (FDI) upto 49 per cent is allowed in existing airlines which are already in operation and not to new or proposed joint ventures.

Tata-SIA Airlines Ltd is a joint venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines and AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia.

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