The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) has withdrawn its writ petitions in the Delhi High Court challenging grant of government approvals to AirAsia India and Vistara.
The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed the withdrawal of the two petitions ending eight year old litigation between FIA and Tata-group owned airlines.
FIA is a lobby group of private airlines comprising Go First, IndiGo and SpiceJet. Former MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy first moved the Delhi High Court in 2013 challenging the grant of approval to AirAsia India – a joint venture of AirAsia Malaysia and Tata Sons. Swamy’s petition is listed for further hearing on January 13.
A year later FIA too filed separate petitions stating that grant of approvals to AirAsia India and Vistara were in violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board norms. It contended that foreign investment norms were meant to encourage investment in existing airlines and not greenfield ones.
With respect to AirAsia India, FIA also raised the issue of effective control accusing that Malaysian joint venture partner is in charge of the airline.
On Friday however FIA submitted to the court that it wishes to withdraw the petition due to changed circumstances.
In its application FIA said that the issue of substantial ownership and effective control turned academic following the Competition Commission of India approval to Air India’s proposed acquisition of Tata group stake in AirAsia India.
” FIA members took legal opinion and decided to withdraw their petitions after CCI order in June,” said advocate Charul Sarin of Sarin Associates.
The Tata group owns 83.67 per cent in AirAsia India and remainder is held by AirAsia Malaysia.