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- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- Corporate Address
- Lot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur,
50470 Kuala Lumpur
- Main hub
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport
- Business model
- Low Cost Carrier
- Domestic | International
- Airline Group
- Part of AirAsia Group
- Frequent Flyer Programme
- Association Membership
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.
319 total articles
US airline investment firm Indigo Partners is assessing new low cost airline investment opportunities in Asia with a focus on the ultra-LCC or ULCC model. Indigo has not had an investment in Asia since selling its stake in Singapore-based Tigerair five years ago, but currently has large stakes in LCCs based in Europe and North America.
Indigo believes there could be room for a ULCC in the Southeast Asian market despite already intense competition and a huge LCC order book, because the LCCs now operating in this region are not true to the LCC model. Several Southeast Asian LCCs, including Tigerair, are owned by full service airline groups, leading to a dilution of the typical LCC model.
India is also a market of interest for Indigo. However, the firm is not interested in North Asia at this point, despite that region's much lower LCC penetration rate. Australia is also not of interest as it is already mature.
Malaysia’s Malindo Air is poised to have a momentous year in 2017, with more rapid expansion and a highly anticipated rebranding. Malindo plans to adopt the Batik Malaysia brand in early 2017, positioning it alongside Indonesia-based Batik Air as the two full service airlines in the Lion Group.
Malindo has been one of Asia’s fastest-growing airlines since it launched services in Mar-2013. It recently reached the 40-aircraft milestone, after adding an astonishing 13 aircraft in just six months. Malindo plans to end 2016 with a fleet of 42 and take at least 10 additional aircraft in 2017.
The focus in 2017 will mainly be on adding capacity to existing destinations, improving connectivity as it looks to drive more transit and interline traffic. However new routes to Australia, China and Saudi Arabia are planned in early 2017, followed by potential new routes to Japan, Korea and Pakistan later in the year – leveraging the improved range of the 737 MAX.
Malaysia’s AirAsia X is considering the lease of A350s or 777-300ERs in 2017 to accelerate its return to Europe. A new widebody type will add cost and complexity but is necessary if the medium/long haul low cost airline is to meet its objective of relaunching London as soon as possible.
AirAsia X had been planning to wait until it receives A330-900neos before relaunching London and commencing other European routes. However the airline prefers not to wait until 2H2018, when its A330-900neo deliveries are slated to begin, and using another aircraft type in the interim mitigates the impact of a potential delay with the A330neo variant required for Kuala Lumpur-London.
AirAsia X could also use a new aircraft type – most likely A350-900s – to support new routes to the US. It plans to launch services from Japan to Hawaii in Jun-2017 using A330ceos, but also has longer-term plans for longer routes from Japan to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco – and potentially ultra-long haul routes from Malaysia to the US.
Thai AirAsia is planning further growth in China as it continues to expand its fleet rapidly. The LCC is planning to add five to six aircraft per annum over the next few years and allocate approximately half of the additional capacity to China, which is already by far its largest international market. India is another focus area for Thai AirAsia.
A large portion of the additional aircraft will be based at secondary cities. Approximately 30% of Thai AirAsia’s fleet is now based outside Bangkok, compared to 15% two years ago, and this portion will continue to increase as the airline expands.
Thai AirAsia is particularly keen to grow its base at U-Tapao near the resort of Pattaya, which opened in Sep-2015 and now has two aircraft. Thai AirAsia plans to expand the U-Tapao/Pattaya base by one or two aircraft in 2017, enabling new routes to China. Thai AirAsia is also considering the launch of international services in 2017 from Khon Kaen, which could become its seventh base and the fifth gateway for services to mainland China.
The AirAsia Group is planning to accelerate expansion in 2017, with several additional deliveries. The short haul LCC is bullish on its prospects for 2017, particularly in India, Indonesia and the Philippines which are on course to achieve profitability by the end of 2016.
The group is also hoping to benefit from more favourable conditions in its original home markets of Malaysia and Thailand. While AirAsia has remained profitable at a group level over the last two years it has been impacted by relatively challenging conditions in Malaysia and Thailand and steep losses in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The group’s fifth joint venture, AirAsia Japan, is now slated to commence operations in 1Q2017. Japan will help drive a new phase of growth after a hiatus from fleet expansion over the last two years.
The ACTE-CAPA Global Summit attracted over 800 delegates and more than 40 c-level executives to Amsterdam on 27-28 Oct-2016. The CEOs of more than 20 airlines spoke during the summit, which included the annual CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence gala dinner.
For a report on the award winners see: Icelandair, Iberia, Qatar, Wizz, AirAsia’s Fernandes, London City, Vancouver, ABB win CAPA awards
Liberalisation and disruptive technologies were among the main themes across two days of keynotes and panel discussions. Brexit, China, global alliances and the future of the low cost model were also examined in specifically themed panel discussions.