- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Cargo Analysis
- Route Maps
- Annual Reports
- Fast Fact Report
AirAsia is a low cost carrier based at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia. The carrier, which was formed out of Tune Air in 2002, is led by CEO Tony Fernandes and pioneered the cross-border joint venture in Asia, establishing Thai and Indonesian units with bases in Bangkok and Jakarta. The airline has also partnered with other airlines and investors to create ventures in the Philippines, India and Japan. AirAsia's extensive domestic and regional network includes services within Malaysia and to China, Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent.
Location of AirAsia main hub (Kuala Lumpur International Airport)
AirAsia share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider AirAsia fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
2,457 total articles
250 total articles
Malaysia AirAsia (MAA) and sister long-haul LCC Malaysia AirAsia X (MAAX) are shrinking their fleets in 2015 while adopting a new capacity and pricing strategy. Both carriers are trying to restore yields, which plummeted in late 2013 and 2014 due to intense competition and overcapacity in the Malaysian market.
MAA is still adding some capacity by improving aircraft utilisation levels. But passenger numbers will likely remain flat as the focus on yields results in a reduction in load factor.
Meanwhile MAAX has cut capacity across its scheduled network as part of a restructuring aimed at restoring profitability. MAAX was highly unprofitable in 2014 while MAA was the only profitable airline in Malaysia. MAA was also the only profitable airline among the eight carriers in the AirAsia/AirAsia X portfolio.
Passenger traffic growth slowed significantly in 2014 as Malaysia’s airline sector adjusted fleet and capacity plans in response to challenging market conditions. Passenger numbers grew less than 5% in 2014 and growth is expected to again be in the low single digits in 2015 as further adjustments are implemented, including anticipated capacity cuts at Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
Medium/long-haul low-cost carrier Malaysia AirAsia X is also cutting capacity in 2015 as part of its own restructuring. Both Malaysia AirAsia X and short-haul sister carrier Malaysia AirAsia are reducing their fleets in 2015 although the latter will still pursue modest capacity growth by improving aircraft utilisation. Lion Group’s Malaysian affiliate Malindo Air is still expanding rapidly but on a much smaller base.
This is the first instalment in a report on the Malaysian market and the outlook for 2015. This part will focus on MAS and the recent reduction in passenger numbers in Malaysia. The second part will focus on AirAsia and AirAsia X.
Long-haul low-cost start-up Indonesia AirAsia X (IAAX) has adjusted its fleet expansion plan for 2015 and 2016 in response to unexpected regulatory challenges. IAAX has finally secured approvals to serve Australia, which it now plans to launch on 18-Mar-2015, but is still seeking to secure approvals from Japan and South Korea while new regulations in Indonesia also pose a potential roadblock.
IAAX initially planned to commence operations in Dec-2014 on the Bali-Melbourne route. An unexpected last second setback from the Australian regulator forced IAAX to postpone the Melbourne launch by three months.
IAAX ended up shifting gears and commenced operations in Jan-2015 with services to Taiwan, which has a more favourable regulatory environment. But the carrier has since been operating only one weekly flight to Taipei, resulting in an extremely low utilisation rate for its initial fleet of two 377-seat A330-300s. IAAX is now planning to add only one aircraft 2015 and one more aircraft in 2016 although this could change if the regulatory environment becomes more favourable.
Southeast Asia is a market of both challenges and promise. 2015 will mark the second consecutive year of slower growth and potentially the second consecutive year when most airlines ended in the red. But improving market conditions, lower fuel prices and restructuring efforts should at least reduce the losses/migrate to profit and allow new growth.
The region has emerged over the past decade as one of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, capturing the attention of global suppliers. The rapid growth has primarily been driven by fast expansion of LCCs – both independent groups and subsidiaries of full service groups. Meanwhile, flag carrier growth has stagnated.
This report is based on a review contained in CAPA's Global Aviation Outlook 2015 which appears in Airline Leader, Issue 26.
Singapore’s aviation market grew by only 0.7% in 2014, the smallest increase since the global financial crisis in 2009. Passenger growth in 2015 will again be very modest as capacity is maintained roughly at current levels.
Singapore has been impacted by capacity adjustments by its struggling low-cost carrier sector. Singapore’s LCC penetration rate, which increased steadily from 2003 to 1H2014, declined in 2H2014.
Singapore also has been impacted by declining visitor numbers. All of four of Singapore’s largest source markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Australia – recorded drops in visitor numbers in 2014. Passenger traffic to Thailand, one of Singapore’s largest outbound and transit markets, declined due to the civil unrest in Bangkok.
Southeast Asia recorded a significant slowdown in LCC growth in 2014 as several airlines adjusted to challenging market conditions. The region’s LCC fleet expanded by 13% aircraft compared to about 20% growth in 2013.
A similar fleet growth rate of approximately 13% is likely in 2015, following further revisions to fleet plans in response to overcapacity, which has impacted most Southeast Asian short-haul markets since 2H2013. AirAsia in particular has slowed expansion and will take only five A320s in 2015 - although rival Lion Group is again not showing any signs of slowing and plans to take about 50 aircraft for the second consecutive year with over half ending up in the dynamic Southeast Asian LCC sector.
Growth rates could pick up again in 2016 or 2017 if market conditions improve. Higher growth rates ultimately will be required for Southeast Asia’s huge LCC order book, which consists of nearly 1,200 aircraft, to remain intact. The potentially huge impact of lower fuel prices could also reshape strategies in 2015, as some LCCs record a 20% reduction in total costs.