The Telegraph
Saturday , February 22 , 2014
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AirAsia gets closer to flying permit

Hurdle lifted

New Delhi, Feb. 21: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has disposed of the objections raised by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) against AirAsia India.

The FIA — an association of local airlines — had questioned the entry of new players in the aviation sector at a time established airlines were under severe financial stress.

AirAsia India will move closer to receiving the flying permit following the DGCA move. The airline, which has set up its headquarters in Chennai, plans to start domestic services by the second half of this year.

In September, the carrier had applied for the scheduled operator’s permit.

AirAsia India is a joint venture of Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia, Tata Sons and Telestra TradePlace. DGCA officials said it might soon get the permit.

The regulator had sought feedback from the public and the affected parties on providing the permit to the airline. The objections and suggestions were being examined over the past few days, sources said. This was the first time the regulator had invoked the rule seeking objections from the public before granting a licence.

The FIA had said a new entrant was not in the long-term interest of existing airlines and consumers. “The new joint ventures will have the opportunity to unfairly compete with the existing airlines, with huge losses and starved of capital, and ensure that the existing airlines become even more vulnerable, which could result in their ultimate closure,” it said.

United Airlines

A Boeing 777 aircraft of US-based carrier United Airlines was grounded at the Mumbai airport on Thursday night after engineers found that its right engine cover was badly damaged, DGCA sources said today.

The damage may have been caused during take-off.