Tony Fernandes gets OIC card, AirAsia is now Indian
New Delhi: Malaysia’s AirAsia Group chief Tony Fernandes has been given the status of Overseas Citizen of India (OIC) by the Indian government, amid concerns in certain quarters over control at budget carrier AirAsia India.
Mr Fernandes, whose father was of Goa origin, announced this at a time when AirAsia India is celebrating its second anniversary.
AirAsia India is a joint venture between AirAsia and Tatas, each holding 49 per cent stake. The remaining shares are with the carrier’s two directors — S Ramadorai and R Venkataramanan.
“I am also delighted to share that I have been granted the OIC status. India has always been close to my heart as my father was from this country and Goa is my ancestral homeland,” Mr Fernandes said in a statement on Monday. He also posted a picture of his OIC passport on his Twitter handle.
“My father’s posting brought him to Malaysia, but he never stopped talking about Goa and the rest is history. I landed in Goa for the first time during the inaugural flight of AirAsia India from Bengaluru to Goa and I take immense pride in that,” he noted.
Earlier, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), the grouping of of four established domestic carriers — Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir — had raised concerns about control and ownership at AirAsia India.