June 6 (Reuters) - AirAsia Group Bhd said the company and its chief executive had not received notice of a summons to appear before India’s federal investigators over allegations that the airline broke rules to obtain a flying licence in the country.
“We wish to state categorically that neither AirAsia Group nor Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, in his personal capacity, has received any such notice as of today,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Reuters and other media reported earlier that Fernandes had been asked to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on June 6.
India’s CBI last month accused the airline, some of its employees and third parties of violating foreign direct investment rules while obtaining its licence to fly, and of bribing government officials in an attempt to get regulations relaxed to allow AirAsia India to fly international routes.
A CBI source reiterated to Reuters on Wednesday that Fernandes had been summoned to appear before investigators but did not clarify if that summons had been delivered. The source also said that police were likely to give more details on the matter later in the day.
Representatives for AirAsia on Wednesday did not respond to emailed requests to clarify whether there had been any contact from India’s CBI.
AirAsia’s statement on Tuesday said that “if and when” the company receives a notice from CBI through official channels, it will act in accordance with Malaysian laws and cooperate fully with Indian authorities.
The CBI has said it has searched five AirAsia locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, seizing certain documents.
The Malaysian low-cost carrier launched domestic flight operations in India in 2014 with local joint venture partner Tata Sons.
CBI’s allegations come at a time when Fernandes is under fire for supporting Malaysia’s former prime minister in recent general elections and is being investigated over the cancellation of flights that could have transported voters home.
Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Singapore, Nigam Prusty in New Delhi and Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Edwina Gibbs