Using his persuasive skills to the hilt, Tony Fernandes, founder and chief executive officer of AirAsia, on Sunday, said Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, will be the chief advisor to AirAsia India, a new venture that Malaysian airline is setting up with the Tatas as investors.
"I am pleased to announce @ratantata as the chief advisor to the board of AirAsia India. A legend in every sense. Building a powerful team," Fernandes posted on the microblogging site Twitter.
On May 15, AirAsia announced the name of its new CEO Mittu Chandilya, but is still to announce the names of the top management line-up to steer its new venture.
What Fernandes did not say, however, was that his efforts to persuade Tata to become the chairman of the Indian venture failed. Tata, a certified pilot, has been very keen on the Tata group entering civil aviation. An earlier initiative with Singapore Airlines, about a decade ago, failed to go through after being infamously stymied by corporate lobbies. Fernandes had publicly proclaimed that he is keen to have Tata as the chairman of the airline.