The CBI case of alleged efforts by AirAsia India and its senior officials to manipulate government policies might trigger calls from established carriers for cancellation of Tatas' majority-owned budget airline's licence and sharpen the divide in the domestic aviation space, according to industry experts.
With the CBI registering a case against AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and other officials for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence brings the spot light on the erstwhile '5/20 norm'.
The norm -- which required local airlines to be in operation for at least five years and a minimum fleet of 20 planes in order to start overseas operations -- was done away with in 2016. Now, only the fleet requirement of 20 aircraft is in force, making it easier for new players such as AirAsia India and Vistara to commence international flights, experts said.
Against this backdrop, experts also opined that the CBI case would make things difficult for AirAsia India to start overseas operations. At present, the airline -- a joint venture between Tatas and Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad -- has 18 aircraft and is in the process of firming up international plans.
A senior aviation industry analyst told
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