The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rejected a plea by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) to cancel the Air Operator's Permit (AOP) of AirAsia India (I5, Chennai), finding it had not violated foreign ownership and control criteria, according to DGCA documents seen by ch-aviation.

The FIA is a member body comprised of legacy Indian carriers Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l), GoAir (G8, Mumbai Int'l), IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) and SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l). It had raised concerns with the Delhi High Court that a brand license agreement (BLA) between AirAsia India and AirAsia Group compromised the former's status as majority Indian-controlled, a requirement for Indian airlines.

In its decision, the DGCA found that AirAsia India's principal place of business is in India, the Chair and at least two-thirds of the board are Indian nationals, and 51% shareholding of the business is with Indian nationals.

In regard to the BLA, the DGCA found that it does allow AirAsia Group to control or manage some elements of the business, but these were predominantly around branding, catering, in-flight services, and uniformity of technology, services and sales. It did not find that these compromised the general management of AirAsia India.

Accordingly, the status of AirAsia India's AOP will not be changed.