Shareholding to remain unchanged at this stage: AirAsia India

AirAsia India is a joint venture between Malaysia's AirAsia Berhard, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia's Telestra Tradeplace. The start-up carrier has been in the red since starting operations in June 2014.

Shareholding to remain unchanged at this stage: AirAsia India

New Delhi: Amidst speculation that it is looking to raise funds for expanding its operations, budget carrier AirAsia India said Wednesday that its shareholding remains unchanged at this stage though it needs money.

AirAsia India is a joint venture between Malaysia's AirAsia Berhard, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia's Telestra Tradeplace. The start-up carrier has been in the red since starting operations in June 2014.

Emphasising that the airline's "operations are going fine", a company executive said there are not going to be any immediate changes in shareholding pattern.

"Its almost three years now since we are into business here. The airline needs funding but it will come at an appropriate time," he said on the condition of anonymity.

When asked about the funds requirement AirAsia India was looking at, the executive said it could be well below USD 100 million.

Media reports have speculated that Tata Sons could be increasing its stake besides Ratan Tata picking up shares in the airline. This also comes against the backdrop of Arun Bhatia expressing unhappiness over the state of affairs at the low cost carrier.

When contacted, AirAsia India Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mittu Chandilya said, "This is all speculation."

Malaysia's AirAsia Berhard and Tata Sons have 49 percent and 41 percent stake, respectively, in the airline. Bhatia has 10 percent shareholding.

Queries to Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia on whether there would be a change in shareholding pattern in AirAsia India elicited no comments. Messages sent to AirAsia Berhard's Founder Tony Fernades also did not elicit any response.

In December last, Bhatia had expressed unhappiness over the state of affairs at the budget carrier, saying that decisions are being taken by its Malaysian parent AirAsia.

"If you ask the CEO (of AirAsia India) what is happening, he says sir what can I do? I don't have any information, everything is controlled by Malaysia, that is the situation today," he had said.

Amid stiff competition and tough market conditions, AirAsia India saw its net loss widening to nearly Rs 65 crore in the 2015 September quarter.