PETALING JAYA, May 30 — Air Asia India Limited (AAIL) has denied any wrongdoing after reports emerged that India’s federal police have filed a case against AirAsia Group Bhd CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes for allegedly paying bribes to influence local policy.
“Air Asia India Limited (AAIL) refutes any wrongdoing and is cooperating with all regulators and agencies to present the correct facts,” AAIL director Shuva Mandal said in a statement last night.
“In Nov 2016, AAIL initiated criminal charges against its ex-CEO and also commenced civil proceedings in Bangalore for such irregularities,” he said.
Shuva said AAIL hopes to bring early resolution to the issue.
Yesterday, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation named Fernandes and other officials from AirAsia Bhd and its Indian unit in its investigation
The probe is a setback to AirAsia’s expansion, with its India unit planning more domestic flights and a January start to international operations.
Fernandes has identified India as one of the main pillars of his pan-Asian dream as he seeks to capture a share of the market dominated by Gulf-based carriers and the national carrier Air India.
The charges laid out by the CBI allege Fernandes and others bribed Indian officials through middlemen to influence policies, including obtaining a flying permit and approvals to fly internationally, Bloomberg reported.