India’s Tata Group has increased its stake in AirAsia India to about 51 per cent, giving it controlling stake of its second airline, the other being Vistara, which is 49 per cent owned by Singapore Airlines.
Tata Group and its partner AirAsia Investments also injected five billion Indian rupees (US$71.9 million) to fund AirAsia India’s international growth plans, with the former putting in 51 per cent of the sum, The Economic Times of India reported.
Earlier, Tata Group and AirAsia each had 49 per cent stake, with R Venkataramanan, managing partners, Tata Trusts, and S Ramadorai, group executive, Tata Group, holding the rest.
The move comes as more than one of the country’s airlines find themselves in financial trouble. Just days after Jet Airways suspended all operations after failing to secure funding, Air India was reported to be short by around 90 billion Indian rupees to pay off debts due in the current fiscal year.
Tata Group is also upping its investment in AirAsia India at a time when the airline and AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes are being investigated for allegedly bribing government officials to get a waiver in the foreign flying eligibility norms of five years and 20 aircraft.