Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes and several others have been booked for allegedly violating civil aviation norms while securing international flying licenses, CBI officials told PTI on Tuesday. Fernandes is accused of lobbying government officials to relax the 5/20 rule, where companies require five years experience in the aviation sector and own 20 aircraft to be eligible for an international licence.
The central investigation agency is carrying out searches at six locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, at properties belonging to the Malaysian carrier.
Besides Fernandes, Travel Food owner Sunil Kapoor, Air Asia Director R Venkatraman, aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, Director of Singapore-based SNR Trading Rejendra Dubey and unidentified public servants have been named in the FIR. Air Asia directors, CBI alleged, have also violated norms pertaining to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
Air Asia operates international flights from several destinations in India to all across south-east Asia. Its domestic operations include daily flights from New Delhi, Bengaluru, Goa, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ranchi.