AirAsia India selects CEO for JV with Tata Sons

Amid reports that AirAsia Group is keen to start its India venture by May-June and not towards the end of the year as announced earlier, Chief Executive Tony Fernandes Tuesday said he has selected the CEO for his proposed airline venture with the Tatas.

Mumbai: "A very smart boy from the South, Madras (Chennai)" has been selected as the CEO of AirAsia India, the group announced Tuesday without disclosing the identity of the person.

"I have selected the CEO for AirAsia India. A very smart boy from the South, Madras (Chennai). An amazing CV. Will impress all...," AirAsia group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes tweeted today without identifying the person.

The announcement of selection of CEO for the to-be launched carrier comes ahead of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) meeting tomorrow which is likely to consider the AirAsia proposal for approval. There are also reports in a section of the media that Fernandes is keen to start his operations as early as May-June.

Late last month, AirAsia Investment had moved an application with FIPB seeking approval for the JV in which AirAsia would hold 49 percent stake, with the rest being held by Tata Sons (30 percent) and Arun Bhatia's Telstra Tradeplace (21 percent).

Fernandes had recently said the new airline would be based in Chennai and would concentrate in the initial phase on destinations in the South where AirAsia already operates and would also focus on providing connectivity to small towns.