Companies & Sectors
AirAsia seeks FIPB nod for new JV airline with Tata Sons

AirAsia said Indian aviation has huge long-term growth potential and is expected to produce tremendous upside for first movers

AirAsia Bhd, through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment (AAIL), has applied to India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for a proposed joint venture with Tata Sons to set up a new airline.

 

In a press release today, Air Asia said AAIL is seeking approval to invest 49% in a new airline to be known as AirAsia India.

 

“This move comes amidst the backdrop of the September 2012 decision by the Government of India to open up the aviation sector to foreign direct investment from foreign carriers,” said AirAsia.

 

AirAsia said Indian aviation has huge long-term growth potential and is expected to produce tremendous upside for first movers.

 

“We have carefully evaluated developments in India over the last few years and strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce AirAsia’s low fares which stimulate travel and grow the market,” said AirAsia’s group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

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ICICI Bank breaks off credit card alliance with Kingfisher Airlines

The bank said it will issue an “ICICI Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card” to the holders of ICICI-Kingfisher card without any annual fees from 15th March onwards with same interest rate and credit limit as that on the existing card

Leading private sector lender ICICI Bank has decided to discontinue its co-branded credit card alliance with Kingfisher Airlines in the wake of continued grounding of the beleaguered air carrier.

 

“ICICI Bank and Kingfisher Airlines’ co-brand credit card programme has been discontinued due to discontinuation of Kingfisher Airlines services,” the bank said in a communication to its customers.

 

“As a result, the ICICI Bank Kingfisher Airlines Credit Card will be valid till 31 March 2013,” it said, while asking the card users to opt for another credit card from the bank.

 

The bank further said it will issue an “ICICI Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card” to the holders of ICICI-Kingfisher card without any annual fees from 15th March onwards with same interest rate and credit limit as that on the existing card.   

 

The customers would, however, be free to opt for any other card available with the bank as per their requirements.   

 

ICICI Bank used to be a major lender for the ailing airline, but later sold off its entire Kingfisher debt of Rs430 crore loans to a debt fund managed by SREI Infra Finance last July.

 

Mired in a major crisis involving huge debts of over Rs7,500 crore and non-payment of staff salaries, Kingfisher Airlines had to ground its services last year and the carrier is still struggling to revive its operations.

 

The airline has never posted a full-year profit and it has accumulated losses of about Rs 8,000 crore.   

 

A host of lenders, including public sector giant State Bank of India (SBI), recently decided to start the process of recalling their loans to Kingfisher after months of discussions with the airline management for recovery of their debt and revival of the carrier's flight operations failed to yield desired results.

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