AirAsia Japan stated (03-Feb-2012) it obtained an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau on 01-Feb-2012. The AOC will enable AirAsia Japan, a JV between AirAsia and All Nippon Airways, to launch commercial services to international and domestic destinations. The carrier expects to launch service in Aug-2012, stating: "The company targets this joint venture to begin operations at the latest Aug-2012 but could be earlier subject to aircraft availability". [more - original PR]
AirAsia Japan receives AOC; expects to launch service in Aug-2012
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Indonesia’s Lion Air Group has the growth opportunities to support the 600 aircraft on order
The Lion Air Group has a massive 600 aircraft on outstanding order following its landmark order for 234 A320 family aircraft, which was signed on 18-Mar-2013. The figure at first glance seems overly ambitious given the intensifying competition in Southeast Asia’s low-cost carrier market. But Lion enjoys a very strong position in its massive and fast-growing home market of Indonesia, which could easily support, over the next decade, at least half of the additional aircraft it has committed to acquiring.
Lion also has ambitions of establishing new affiliates and subsidiaries, following the model of rival LCC group AirAsia. The Lion Air Group is launching Malindo, a joint venture carrier in AirAsia’s original home market of Malaysia, on 22-Mar-2013.
The group also has the option of placing some of the 600 aircraft it has on outstanding order with airlines outside Lion through its new leasing subsidiary. This gives Lion unique flexibility should its growing portfolio of airlines not require all 600 aircraft for their own growth and replacement needs.
AirAsia’s 2013 outlook marred by intensifying competition and continued losses at new affiliates
AirAsia faces a potentially challenging 2013 as it accelerates expansion in its three core markets as part of an attempt to fight off intensifying competition within Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, the group will continue to incur losses at the two affiliates it launched during 2012, in the Philippines and Japan, and will incur start-up costs for its new joint venture in India.
The AirAsia Group plans to focus growth in 2013 at the three affiliates which are profitable – AirAsia Malaysia, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia. This established trio of LCCs, all of which are now at least seven years old, will take a record 25 aircraft in 2013 for a total of 138 A320s, representing 22% fleet growth.
AirAsia Philippines, AirAsia Japan and AirAsia India are only expected to take about seven A320s in 2013, a surprisingly small figure for the Philippine and Japanese affiliates given they have not yet reached initial economies of scale. The group is waiting for AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia Japan to move into the black, which could take a few years, before pursuing more ambitious expansion.