One day we’ll get to Singapore: Fernandes

Press Release

(Singapore: 10 November 2006) Opening the second day of CAPA’s Outlook 2007, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes recounted some of the reasons behind the region’s leading LCC’s success, while also calling on governments to abolish the “old-fashioned” rules that continue to hamper the LCC sector’s growth. “We still have ownership policies that view foreign control as ‘traitorous’ and protectionist access rules that misguidedly destroy opportunity cost to ‘save’ national pride,” he lamented.

Outlook 2006

Mr Fernandes, who has run AirAsia since its rebirth as a low cost carrier in 2001, overseeing its rise into Asia's largest and most profitable LCC, also said that the carrier aims to both accelerate and add to its A320 order book with Airbus, which currently stands at 100 firm orders (12 of which have been delivered) and 30 options. Explaining the carrier's decision to add to its already ambitious growth plans, he stated: "As long as we have the lowest costs, we'll have the lowest fares, and as long as we have the lowest fares, there's an almost unlimited market out there."

But, he said, in the short term, "AirAsia will not be chasing new joint venture opportunities," such as in China.

Speaking of the success of the carrier's joint venture partners in Bangkok and Jakarta, he still noted that, like its parent, AirAsia Indonesia was prohibited from flying to Singapore. While frustrating, he claimed confidence that this restriction will ultimately end. "The rules have to change, and I am confident they will," he said. "One day we will operate into Singapore, and I will operate 20 daily flights from here to Kuala Lumpur. We recognise that this market needs to be opened progressively, but it is important that monopolies (flag carriers) should not control the agenda."

Outlook 2007 is the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's annual examination of the prospects for the Asia Pacific airline industry. Convening in Singapore with the participation of 30 CEOs and 380 vital stakeholders from all components of the aviation sector, Outlook 2007 and the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence is the year's premier gathering of the region's aviation decision makers, providing a forum for dialogue between leaders from the airline, airport, supplier and regulatory communities.

For more information, please visit: https://centreforaviation.com

For sponsorship details, please contact Misty Cambray, Marketing Manager mc@centreforaviation.com Ph: +612 9241 3200.