Fasten your seat belts, AirAsia India gets ministry nod

New Delhi, Sept. 21 -- AirAsia India has got the all-important no-objection certificate (NOC)from the aviation ministry to start airline operations in India.

Aviation minister Ajit Singh cleared the AirAsia India application late on Friday, top aviation ministry sources told HT. The NoC paves the way for a December-January launch of the proposed low-cost passenger airline, which is a joint venture between Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia, Tata Group and Arun Bhatia, a close relative of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.

While AirAsia will hold a 49% stake in the proposed airline, the Tata Group will hold 30% and Arun Bhatia 21%.

AirAsia India will now need to apply for an operator's permit with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). DGCA chief Arun Mishra had told HT last week that the process of granting the permit could be completed in a month's time "depending on the documentation".

AirAsia India's entry into the domestic aviation market will bring cheer to passengers. Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia Group, has promised "nano fares" and has said the revenue management of Indian carriers was "very poor" and air fares were "just too high".

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.