Tata Sons Likely to Raise Stake in AirAsia India to 41.06 Pc

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MUMBAI:Tata Sons is likely to increase its stake to 41.06 per cent in the low-cost carrier AirAsia India from the current 30 per cent.

The no-frills carrier is a three-way joint venture in which Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhard owns 49 per cent, while the remaining 51 per cent is with Tata Sons (30 per cent) and Telestra Tradeplace (21 per cent).

The airline is also set for top management reshuffle with CEO Mittu Chandilya expected to be elevated as MD in addition to his current responsibility.

Sources said, Tata Sons was in the process of subscribing to the capital of AirAsia India, probably from Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace, which currently holds 21 per cent in AirAsia India.

Meanwhile, AirAsia India is expected to soon effect its first management revamp since commencing operations in June last year, with its incumbent CFO Vijay Gopalan offering to step down from his position.

“Our CFO, Vijay Gopalan has decided to resign for personal reasons…We through our board of directors are already in the process of identifying a suitable replacement for this critical position,” the airline said in a statement.

In the three months ended March, 2015, AirAsia India posted a loss of Rs 19 crore, while revenue stood at Rs 74.39 crore.

It may be noted that in February, Chandilya had said the airline was expected to break-even by May-June this year. Originally, the target was set for November, 2014. Later, the carrier said it was deferring the one-plane-per-month fleet expansion plan and expects to end the year with 7-10 planes from the present five.

The airline had carried nearly 2,38,000 passengers contributing a revenue of Rs 3,131 per passenger during the March quarter.

Ancillary income per passenger was at Rs 248 while the seat load factor was 79 per cent. (With inputs from PTI)

source:http://www.newindianexpress.com/

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