R Venkataramanan Tata Trust Chief , S Ramadorai Ex-Ceo Of Tcs Exit AirAsia India

| February 23 , 2019 , 14:00 IST

R Venkataramanan, managing trustee of Tata Trusts, and S Ramadorai, former CEO of TCS, have exited budget carrier AirAsia India by selling their shares to Tata Sons.

Venkataramanan, who recently announced his departure from Tata Trusts, and Ramadorai held 1.5% and 0.5% stakes respectively in AirAsia India. Venkataramanan will be at Tata Trusts till March 31.

The duo has also stepped down from the board, ending their two-year association with the controversy-stricken airline.

After the share-purchase, Tata Sons, the holding company of the $111-billion Tata Group, has become the largest shareholder of AirAsia India with a 51% equity interest. The remaining 49% is held by Malaysia’s AirAsia.

Whereas, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy moved the Delhi high court against granting AirAsia India permission to fly abroad. He also sought a status report from the CBI and the enforcement directorate in the investigation into the corruption charges.

AirAsia India recently applied to the aviation ministry for permission to start international flights to Southeast Asian countries. Rules require an airline to have 20 aircraft to fly overseas. AirAsia India, which started operations in 2014, meets the stated criterion.

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Tata Sons have been looking to strengthen its aviation play and had evaluated the acquisition of Jet Airways NSE 0.68 % recently. However, having dropped the Jet purchase plan, Tata Sons is now pursuing the organic route to scale up its airline business. Besides AirAsia India, Tata Sons have a 51% interest in premier carrier Vistara.