AirAsia seeks FIPB nod for 49% stake in JV with Tata Sons

Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd, Asia's biggest budget carrier, is seeking approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for a 49-per cent stake in a proposed joint venture with Tata Sons Ltd and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd.

AirAsia said it has submitted an application to the FIPB through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment Ltd, seeking approval for the proposed joint venture.

Subject to the FIPB approval, the joint venture company will move the aviation sector regulator for the air operators' permit.

If approval is granted Air Asia will have 49 per cent stake in the proposed joint venture while the other two partners, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace will share the remaining 51 per cent equity. The parties have already signed the memorandum of agreement on the terms of partnership.

"We have carefully evaluated developments in India over the last few years and we strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce our low fares," AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

The joint venture airlines plans to initially operate provide domestic flight options from Chennai.