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Air Asia Accused of Wrongly Obtaining International Flight License in India

© REUTERS / Enny Nuraheni/FilesAn AirAsia Airbus A320
An AirAsia Airbus A320 - Sputnik International
It has been alleged that Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes lobbied government officials for clearances, the removal of existing aviation rules and changes in regulatory policies. The Malaysia-based low-cost airliner Air Asia tied up with India's Tata group to start its India operation in 2014.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's central investigating agency, the CBI, has registered a case against Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and others over alleged violation of norms for getting international flying licenses.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against Air Asia for violating the country's aviation policy to obtain a flying license on international routes as well as a violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) rules. The agency is conducting searches at six locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

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India's civil aviation policy rules, namely 5/20, state that only a company that has five years of experience and at least 20 aircraft can operate a flight on an international route. Besides Anthony Francis "Tony" Fernandes, of the company Air Asia, Travel Food owner Sunil Kapoor, Tata Director R. Venkatraman, aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, director of Singapore-based SNR Trading Rajendra Dubey and a bureaucrat of India's civil aviation ministry have been named in the case.

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Meanwhile, Air Asia India has denied the charges of any wrongdoing. 

 "Air Asia India Limited refutes any wrong-doing and is cooperating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts," a statement of Air Asia India read.

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