WEF: Air Asia's Anthony Fernandez, Kerala biz man keen on Indian skies

Air Asia

Malaysian Air Asia's Anthony Fernandez and Middle East-based Indian businessman Yusuf Ali are believed to be exploring possible opportunities to enter the Indian aviation space.

Ali who hails from Kerala runs Lulu group of supermarket chain. He is looking at the possibility of starting an airline service between his home state and the Middle East, which has a significant population of Keralites.

Air Asia's Anthony Fernandez is eyeing a full-fledged airline service in India.

Both Ali and Fernandez have separately held informal discussions with Indian business leaders here at Davos where they are attending the WEF annual meeting.

While the two could not be reached for their comments, sources said both are very much interested in the Indian aviation space.

Ali, who used to be on board of Air India, had earlier said that he might partner the Kerala government to start a service for catering to people travelling to the Middle-East from the state.

Fernandez, sources said, is more interested in partnering some Indian business house for the venture, although the other option of buying equity in an existing carrier is also open.

Earlier this month, Jet Airways had said that it was in talks for a potential stake sale to UAE-based carrier Etihad.

Another airliner SpiceJet recently said that some investors have shown interest in the company.

"Though few investors have evinced interest in the Company post Government of India allowing FDI in civil aviation sector to foreign airlines, it will be very pre-mature to comment on the possibilities of any fresh equity issuance to such interested parties or confirm/deny names of any specific entity," SpiceJet had said in a regulatory filing this month.

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