• Hard to do business in India, but will remain here: AirAsia CEO

    AirAsia group chief Tony Fernandes has said it was hard to do business in India due to protectionist policies and “vested interests”, but his joint venture carrier AirAsia India was here for a long haul.

    Defending the slow-paced growth of AirAsia India, he said the aviation sector here was a “double marathon” and not a “sprint”.

    “I am not going to storm in like a bull in China shop like Vijay Mallya did, and get caught. Now we have a (civil aviation) policy and the the policy is very clear on what we have to do. So talk to us in a few years time,” he told PTI when asked about the growth plans for his airlines.

    Observing that the BJP-led government has “at least delivered 80 per cent of what it talked about” in the draft aviation policy, the AirAsia chief said “it is hard (to do business) in India (as) there are so many vested interest who were trying to keep some of the incumbents happy.”

    “So at least they changed it (norm for international flying by domestic carriers) and we are clear what we need to do. And I would not be dead by the time 5 years come along with 20 aircraft we had before,” the AirAsia (Berhad) Group Chief Executive Officer told PTI on the sidelines of the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK last week. Ryan Jensen Jersey

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