KUALA LUMPUR: National Aerospace and Defence Industries (Nadi) has reduced its stake in Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd, and its CEO Chandran Rama Muthy has emerged as a major shareholder in the joint venture with Rusdi Kirana’s Lion Group. Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM) reports sighted by SunBiz revealed that Chandran and his wife, Kalpana Devasagayam, now own a 46% stake in Malindo Air’s operating company Malindo Airways, through Sky One Investors Sdn Bhd. Chandran and wife own equal portions in Sky One. Former majority shareholder Nadi now holds only a 5% stake, while the remainder is owned by Indonesian group PT Lion Group. It is not known when changes in the shareholding of Malindo Airways were effected. SunBiz’s attempts to get comments on the issue from Chandran were unsuccessful. Nadi previously held a 50.99% stake in the self-proclaimed hybrid airline, while its president Tan Sri Ahmad Johan held one share. It is not known why Nadi reduced its stake in the joint venture which was announced with much fanfare in 2012, witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. Yesterday, Malindo Air announced it is inching closer towards becoming the second airline in Malaysia to be a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), after registering for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Chandran told SunBiz the airline has applied for membership with IATA, and is hopeful of gaining entry within two to three months. In a statement, the airline said it has obtained IOSA registration, an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system for the operational management and control systems of an airline. An audit occurs every two years once an airline successfully completes the first audit. Chandran said the IOSA registration, which is valid from June 4, 2016 to June 3, 2018, is a requirement in application for membership in IATA. “Obtaining the IOSA registration is a valuable operational benchmark for Malindo Air as this further validates that safety is paramount for us. This programme contributes to increased emphasis on improving safety management, and aligning us with global best practices, promoting a convenient and safe travel experience for our travellers,” he said in the statement. “It is absolutely vital as it helps ensure our sustainability and continuous development according to IATA standards, regulatory requirements and industry best practices within our operations,” he added. In November, Malindo Air was named winner of the CAPA 2016 Asia Pacific Regional Airline of the Year award. Currently, Malaysia Airlines Bhd is the only local member airline of IATA.