New Delhi, May 30: An Air Asia director has issued a statement claiming that all charges against him are baseless and he has no involvement in any wrongdoing, reports ANI. This comes a day after the CBI booked the group CEO Tony Fernandes and others for trying to work around government policies by using dishonest means to obtain an international license for the Indian arm of the airline, as widely reported in the media.
The letter comes from the office of R Venkataraman, a non-executive director of Air Asia India, who is an accused apart from Fernandes and Tharumalingam Kanagalingam also known as Bo Lingam, former deputy Group CEO of Malaysia-based Air Asia Berhad. The CBI alleged that while for an international license, as per 5/20 aviation rule, an airline is to have operated for five years at least and have 20 aircraft in its fleet, Fernandes sought an international license from the day the airline got the license to operate, that too with just 18 aircraft in its fleet.
The agency also alleged that unknown officials of the Civil Aviation ministry and then officials of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had entered in criminal conspiracy with the accused to help Air Asia India to expedite a change in aviation policy to suit company, as reported by PTI. It alleged that Fernandes 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 FIPB rules by the company.
Yesterday, Air Asia India Limited (AAIL) Director Shuva Mandal had 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.