Mumbai: Kuala Lumpur-headquartered airline AirAsia has brought forward the start of its domestic operations in India to May-June, a person with knowledge of the development said. The largest Southeast Asian discount carrier had earlier planned to launch its operations in the country towards the end of the current calendar year. "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 who did not want to be named, said.
In February, AirAsia had announced a tieup with the Tata Group and Arun Bhatia's Telestra Tradeplace for a scheduled domestic airline. Approval for the joint venture proposal is pending before the FIPB, which approves proposals that require government permission. The matter is likely to come up for a hearing on March 6. The Tata Group 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 civil aviation ministry officials and discussed a plan to launch operations early.
05/03/13 Manisha Singhal/Economic Times