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Malaysian airline tycoon Tony Fernandes applies for Special Indian Citizenship

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Malaysia: Malaysian airline tycoon Tony Fernandes said he applied for a special form of Indian citizenship that would allow him to evade aviation rules restricting foreign ownership in India.

By becoming an “Overseas Citizen of India” (OCI), the AirAsia chief executive may be able to wholly acquire and fully control the airline’s Indian subsidiary, Bloomberg reported.

AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture between AirAsia, the Tata Group and a private investor, with the Malaysian group currently owning a 49 per cent stake.

Indian aviation rules that foreigners or foreign companies can only have up to a 49 per cent stake in local airlines, prompting a number of domestic Indian carriers to raise concerns that AirAsia India is foreign-controlled.

Mr Fernandes, whose parents are from India, told reporters in Hyderabad that he had submitted his application last week.

Mr Fernandes’ announcement comes days after news emerged that as many as 54,000 Malaysians have renounced their citizenship since 2010.

But according to the Indian publication The Economic Times, the Overseas Citizen of India status, which is open to people who have Indian origin roots, does not amount to dual nationality or dual citizenship.

Mr Fernandes is credited with turning around AirAsia, which was heavily in debt when he bought it for RM1 (S$0.34) in 2001.

Today, it has more than 200 planes operated by eight carriers in five countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and India, The Straits Times reported recently.

Mr Fernandes also founded a Formula One team and is majority owner of English football club Queens Park Rangers.

With a net worth of US$230 million (S$312 million), he was ranked 45 in Forbes’ list of the 50 richest Malaysians in 2016. In 2015, he was also included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

(The article was first published in

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Indian-Origin Child Prodigy : 14 Year Old Becomes the Youngest Pilot to Fly a Single-engine Plane

The 14 year old child prodigy received a certificate for his first solo flight from an aviation academy in Canada last week

youngest pilot
Flight Route to Chittorgarh Fort. Wikimedia

Sharjah, September 8, 2017 : An Indian-origin teenager based in Sharjah has become a part of the list of the youngest pilot to fly a single-engine aircraft, a media report said.

Mansour Anis, a 14-year-old Grade 9 student at Delhi Private School in Sharjah, received a certificate for his first solo flight from an aviation academy in Canada last week, Gulf News reported on Wednesday.

“Let it be known throughout the aviation world that Mansour Anis at the age of 14 years successfully took off and landed from Langley Regional Airport thereby accomplishing his first solo flight,” the solo flight certificate issued by AAA Aviation Flight Academy on August 30 stated.

Back in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after his achievement, Anis claimed that he had also set a record of being the youngest pilot to fly solo with the least number of training hours, the newspaper reported.

“He broke the previous record of a 15-year-old German pilot and a 14-year-old US pilot who took 34 hours of training. Mansour flew solo just after 25 hours of training,” Anis’ father Ali Asgar told Gulf News on Wednesday.

Anis, who flew a Cessna 152 aircraft during his solo flight, now has a student pilot permit. Apart from the flying test, he also passed a radio communication test and scored 96 per cent in the PSTAR Test, an eligibility test for Transport Canada.

His solo flight was about 10 minutes long, during which he taxied the aircraft from the parking bay to the runway, took off for a flight of about five minutes and landed back. (IANS)

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