AirAsia may raise as much as USD400 million from separate listings of its Indonesian and Thai units, as it seeks new aircraft, possibly including 175 of Airbus SAS’s planned A320neo (Bloomberg, 25-Feb-2011). The company expects to raise USD150 million to USD200 million in each offering, both of which will likely happen in 4Q201.
AirAsia targets USD400m Indonesian and Thai unit IPOs
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AirAsia up-gauges with a 100 A321neo order; outlook improves and China in its sights
AirAsia has joined other leading LCC groups in Southeast Asia by deciding to add higher density narrowbody aircraft. The 100 A321neos ordered by AirAsia at the 2016 Farnborough Air Show will enable the group to maximise slots at infrastructure constrained airports and further reduce unit costs.
The new order also enables the AirAsia Group to meet a requirement for additional aircraft that has surfaced due to the establishment of a leasing subsidiary which is looking at potentially placing some of the group’s future aircraft with third party customers. AirAsia joins rival Lion Group and VietJet Air in pursuing potential opportunities to lease out some of 1,150 aircraft the three Southeast Asian groups have on order – a staggering number of aircraft that likely cannot be absorbed entirely by their own airline subsidiaries or affiliates - but which they need to have available in case high forecasts materialise.
The new deal lifts AirAsia’s narrowbody order book to 404 aircraft, including 304 A320neos to be delivered from 2H2016 through 2028 and 100 A321neos slated for delivery from 2019 to 2028. The group took its last A320ceo in 2Q2015 and currently operates 171 of the type from bases in five countries.
China is not the only game in town: Asia’s other aviation growth markets
China captures headlines and imaginations in terms of market growth potential, and rightly so - it will generate 100 million tourists annually by the end of this decade. But there are other markets in Southeast Asia that show high potential and remarkable promise for future growth opportunities.
The large aircraft order book hovering over the region has attracted significant attention from the global industry in recent years. Much of this is directed at short haul markets, as new LCCs expand and regional commerce develops. While the rate of growth has been slowing, the order book suggests at some point the rate of LCC growth in Southeast Asia will re-accelerate. Southeast Asian LCCs currently have over 1,100 orders, including almost 90 widebody aircraft. LCCs currently account for about 75% of orders among Southeast Asian airlines but only about 33% of the active fleet. Even when factoring in replacements the size of the LCC fleet should more than double over the next decade.
Three Southeast Asian markets recorded double-digit passenger growth in 2015 – Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia – while another three experienced high single-digit growth – the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar. Indonesia and Malaysia have struggled recently but should see faster growth rates again in the medium to long term. Indonesia, with its 200 million population, is perhaps the quiet medium term performer. Thailand and Vietnam, for now, remain the hottest markets in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is also intriguing, but much smaller.