Air Asia is co-operating in probe, says its director

Air Asia is co-operating in probe, says its director
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Bengaluru (Karnataka): Air Asia India Limited (AAIL) Director Shuva Mandal on Tuesday issued a statement, saying the AAIL is not involved in any wrong-doing and co-operating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts.

“AAIL refutes any wrong-doing and is co-operating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts,” he said.

“In November, 2016 AAIL had initiated criminal charges against its ex-CEO and had also commenced civil proceedings in Bangalore for such irregularities. We hope to bring early resolution to all such issues,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Central Bureau of Investigation booked Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes among others under the Prevention of Corruption Act for violating aviation rule to get international flying licenses.

The CBI has also booked Air Asia Director (Bengaluru) Ramachandran Venkatraman, and DTA consultancy Pvt Ltd founder Deepak Talwar.

B.O. Lingan of Air Asia Berhad Malaysia, Rajendra Dubey- director of HNR Trading PTE Ltd Singapore, Sunil Kapoor- chairman of Total Food Services, Rashid Mansion, Worli Point (food services) have also been named in the case. Other unknown public officials and private persons are also involved.

The CBI also held searches at five locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Unknown officials of civil aviation ministry and then officials of Foreign Investment Promotion Board had allegedly entered in criminal conspiracy with V Ramachandaran, T Fernandes, BO Lingam, R Dubey with intent to help Air Asia India to expedite a change in aviation policy to suit company, according to an official statement.

The investigative agency alleged that the AirAsia Group CEO allegedly lobbied with government servants for clearances, removal of existing 5/20 aviation rule and change in regulatory policies.

The case also relates to the violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) rules by Fernandes and his associates.

Under the 5/20 rule, a company needs a minimum of five years of flying experience and is also required to have 20 aircraft in their possession in order to become eligible for the license. (ANI)