AirAsia Group Bhd has strongly refuted all allegations made in a first information report by the police in India, including any impropriety in obtaining government approvals.
The group said it would pursue all legal remedies to address the allegations against AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia India Pte Ltd, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and his Deputy Bo Lingam, which it described as “baseless, unsupported and unjustified.”
According to Channel News Asia, media reports in India have widely reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a first information report against the parties named above based on information from an unnamed “reliable source”.
“We question the motives of the unnamed person, persons or organisation that lodged this FIR, but we will co-operate fully with the Indian authorities in accordance with due process provided in law,” AirAsia Group said in a statement on Tuesday (Jun 19).
Among the allegations is that unnamed public servants had engaged in a criminal conspiracy involving AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia India, Fernandes, Lingam, and four other named parties and unknown private persons to expedite the approval process and change in aviation policies to suit AirAsia India.
This was by lobbying stakeholders in the Indian government through non-transparent means. The group said all required approvals were secured through normal channels and it took more than a year to get them.
Air Asia Group said it entered into a joint venture with Tata Sons Limited to set up a low-cost carrier in India mainly due to the latter’s “sterling reputation and integrity.”