New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday registered a case against Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and others for alleged violations of norms in order to obtain an international flying license.
As per media reports, the case relates to an alleged violation of norms by the Directors of AirAsia for the relaxation of 5/20 rule in the aviation sector to grab international operation license.
Under the 5/20 rule set up by the Ministry of Civil aviation, national carriers were required to have five years of operational experience and a fleet of minimum 20 aircraft to fly overseas. This was applicable to all commercial aviation organisations flying passengers.
Domestic carriers like AirAsia and Vistara had opposed the 5/20 rule repeatedly insisting that this would hurt the industry by hindering growth prospects of any new airline. Industrialist Ratan Tata had accused older airlines of lobbying to retain the rule allowing overseas flights by Indian carriers.
Apart from Fernandes, others named in the case are Travel food owner Sunil Kapoor, Air Asia Director R Venkatraman (also a Managing Trustee of Tata Trusts), aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, Rajendra Dubey and unidentified Public servants.
As per reports, searches were being held in multiple locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru in connection with the case, according to CBI spokesperson R.K. Gaur.
Tata Sons Limited own 49 percent stakes in AirAsia India. R Venkatraman has 1.5% of AirAsia India’s shareholdings. Fernandes had recently said that the company will soon choose a banker to begin the preliminary process for an IPO.