AirAsia

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Not to be confused with Asiana Airlines and Air Asia (Republic of China), a Taiwanese aircraft service company.
AirAsia
AirAsia New Logo.svg
IATA
AK
ICAO
AXM
Callsign
ASIAN EXPRESS
Founded 1993
Commenced operations 18 November 1996
Hubs Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Secondary hubs
Focus cities Singapore Changi Airport
Frequent-flyer program BIG Loyalty Programme[1]
Subsidiaries
Fleet size 169
Destinations 88 incl. affiliate airlines
Company slogan Now Everyone Can Fly
Parent company Tune Group
Headquarters Registered office: Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Head office: Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Sepang, Selangor
Key people
Revenue Increase RM 5.19 billion/US$ 1.58 billion(2013)[3]
Net income Decrease RM 364 million/US$ 111 million (2013)[3]
Employees +10,000 (2014)
Website www.airasia.com
An AirAsia Boeing 737-300 in special livery denoting the Malaysian flag.

AirAsia Berhad (MYX: 5099) is a Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It has been named as the world's best low-cost airline,[4] and a pioneer of low-cost travel in Asia.[5] AirAsia group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to 100 destinations spanning 22 countries. Its main hub is the klia2 (LCCT) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Its affiliate airlines Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia, AirAsia Zest and AirAsia India have hubs in Don Mueang International Airport, Soekarno–Hatta International Airport, Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Kempegowda International Airport respectively. While its subsidiary, AirAsia X focusing on long-haul routes. AirAsia's registered office is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor while its head office is at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.[6][7]

AirAsia operates with the world's lowest unit cost of US$0.023 per available seat kilometers (ASK) and a passenger break-even load factor of 52%. It has hedged 100% of its fuel requirements for the next three years, achieves an aircraft turnaround time of 25 minutes, has a crew productivity level that is triple that of Malaysia Airlines, and achieves an average aircraft utilisation rate of 13 hours a day.[8] All scheduled AirAsia and AirAsia X departures from Kuala Lumpur use the klia2.

During 2007, passengers from 'The Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group' protested against the airline over its refusal to fly passengers who were completely immobile.[9] They claimed that the disabled were discriminated against when booking tickets online; the CEO of the airline denied that it turned away wheelchair-using passengers.[10] AirAsia is the sponsor of Malaysia national football team, Singapore national football team and Queens Park Rangers.

History[edit]

AirAsia was established in 1994 and began operations on 18 November 1996. It was originally founded by a government-owned conglomerate, DRB-Hicom. On 2 December 2001, the heavily-indebted airline was bought by former Time Warner executive Tony Fernandes' company Tune Air Sdn Bhd for the token sum of one ringgit (about USD 0.26 at the time) with USD 11 million (MYR 40 million) worth of debts. Fernandes turned the company around, producing a profit in 2002 and launching new routes from its hub in Kuala Lumpur, undercutting former monopoly operator Malaysia Airlines with promotional fares as low as MYR 1 (US$0.27). In 2003, AirAsia opened a second hub at Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru near Singapore and launched its first international flight to Bangkok.

AirAsia has since started a Thai affiliate, added Singapore itself to the destination list, and started flights to Indonesia. Flights to Macau began in June 2004, and flights to mainland China (Xiamen) and the Philippines (Manila) in April 2005. Flights to Vietnam and Cambodia followed later in 2005 and to Brunei and Myanmar in 2006, the latter by Thai AirAsia. In August 2006, AirAsia took over Malaysia Airlines's Rural Air Service routes in Sabah and Sarawak, operating under the FlyAsianXpress brand. The routes were subsequently returned to MASwings a year later, citing commercial reasons.

At the end of 2006, Fernandes unveiled a five-year plan to further enhance AirAsia's presence in Asia.[11] Under the plan, AirAsia proposed strengthening and enhancing its route network by connecting all of its the existing destinations throughout the region and expanding further into Vietnam, Indonesia, Southern China (Kunming, Xiamen, Shenzhen) and India. Through its sister companies, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, the plan called for a focus on developing its hub in Bangkok and Jakarta. With increased frequency and the addition of new routes, AirAsia increased passenger volume to 13.9 million in its 2007 fiscal year.[12]

An AirAsia A320 with the Malaysian flag on the tail and Cartoon drawings on the fuselage.

On 27 September 2008, the company announced 106 new routes to be added to its then-current list of 60. The number of old routes discontinued has not been publicly disclosed.

In August 2011, AirAsia agreed to form an alliance with Malaysia Airlines by means of a share swap.[13] The alliance was struck down by the Malaysian government, in effect voiding the agreement of both airlines.

By early 2013, AirAsia saw a steep increase in its profitability. The year-over-year comparison had shown a 168% increase in profits versus the same period in 2012. For the quarter ending 31 December 2012, the airline's net profit stood at 350.65 million ringgit (US$114.08 million). Despite a 1% rise in the average fuel price, the airline recorded profits of 1.88 billion ringgit for its full 2012 fiscal year.[14]

In February 2013, AirAsia submitted an application to the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board, through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment Limited, to seek approval for commencing its operations in India.[15] AirAsia asked to take a 49% stake in the Indian sister airline, which was the maximum allowed by the Indian government at that time.[16] Initially, AirAsia committed to invest up to US$50 million in the new airline. Operations would begin in Chennai, expanding its network throughout South India, where AirAsia already operates flights from Malaysia and Thailand.[17]

Affiliate airlines[edit]

AirAsia India[edit]

Main article: AirAsia India

The origins of the airline can be tracked back to October 2012, when the airline's management said that they were keen to have more presence in India if the aviation environment and tax structure were conducive and friendly for low-cost airline operations. With the Indian Government allowing a foreign direct investment of up to 49%, the airline CEO tweeted "Fantastic news that India has opened up investments to foreign airlines." He said that it was now easier for him to set up an airline in India.[18] Tony Fernandes called the joint venture a marriage made in heaven. He said that that the Tatas know India very well and have a good reputation. A tie-up with the company would help AirAsia operate efficiently. Fernandes said that he would concentrate mainly on the one million south Indians who travel by rail.[19][20] AirAsia announced its Indian low-cost affiliate airline on 19 February 2013. The airline would be operated as a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia, with AirAsia holding 49% of the airline. Arun Bhatia father of [Lakshmi Mittal]'s son in law Amit Bhatia will take up 21% and Tata Sons will take up a stake of 30% in the airline. The joint venture would also mark Tata Sons' return to aviation industry after 60 years.[21][22] AirAsia is also the first foreign airline to set up an affiliate airline in India.[23] The airline will start operating flights out of Chennai.[24]

The maiden flight of AirAsia's India venture on Bangalore-Goa route took off on 12 June 2014.[25]

AirAsia Japan[edit]

Main article: AirAsia Japan

AirAsia and Japanese network airline All Nippon Airways announced their joint venture at a press conference in Tokyo on 21 July 2011.[26] Following its formal establishment in August 2011, AirAsia Japan flew its first flight in August 2012.[26] AirAsia Japan was the first low-cost airline to be based at Narita International Airport. Its formation was announced only months after ANA had announced the formation of Peach, a low-cost airline based at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, and alongside a concurrent effort by Japan Airlines to set up a low-cost affiliate. ANA elected to partner with an existing low-cost airline for efficiency and strategic advantage.[27] It was the fifth affiliate airline for AirAsia and the ninth for ANA. The airline was headquartered alongside ANA in Tokyo, with its main operating base at Narita, and served domestic destinations, utilizing the brand and service model of AirAsia.[26] Future planned international destinations included the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan.[28][29]

AirAsia Japan terminated its operations on 27 October 2013 after announcing the dissolution of its joint venture in June 2013.[30]

In a press release on 1 July 2014 AirAsia announced a relaunch of the AirAsia Japan brand. The first flight is scheduled to depart in the summer of 2015.[31]

AirAsia X[edit]

Main article: AirAsia X
An AirAsia X Airbus A330-300 taking off at Perth Airport.

AirAsia X is the international operation of the brand AirAsia, which is Asia's largest low-cost carrier. The franchise is able to keep costs down by using a common ticketing system, aircraft livery, employee uniforms, and management style.[32] AirAsia X is also affiliated with Virgin Group[33] and Air Canada. On 17 May 2007, Tony Fernandes announced plans to commence flights from Malaysia to Australia. Fernandes said he would be avoiding Sydney Airport due to its high fees. Instead the airline would concentrate on cheaper alternatives such as Melbourne's Avalon Airport, Williamtown Airport in Newcastle, and Adelaide Airport. Sustained fares were predicted to be around MYR 800 (A$285) for a return fare, plus taxes.[34] Interest was also expressed in using Gold Coast Airport as another Australian destination.[35] On 14 May 2007, AirAsia confirmed that it had ordered 15 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, 5 more than originally announced. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2008.[36] On 27 March 2008, AirAsia signed a firm contract for another 10 Airbus A330-300s bringing the airline's total order to 25.[37] AirAsia X received its first A330 on 31 October 2008 in Toulouse, France.[38] As of 14 February 2008, 48% of AirAsia X is owned by Aero Ventures; a venture of Tony Fernandes and other prominent Malaysians, as well as Air Canada's Robert Milton. Virgin Group own 16% and a further 16% is owned by AirAsia. Bahrain-based Manara Consortium, and Japan-based Orix Corp have taken a 20% stake in AirAsia X for RM250 million.[39]

The fleet currently consists of 15 Airbus A330 and 2 Airbus A340 aircraft. The airline also has 14 A330s and 13 Airbus A350s on order.

AirAsia Zest[edit]

Main article: AirAsia Zest

AirAsia Zest Airways, Inc. operating as AirAsia Zest (formerly Asian Spirit, and Zest Air), is a joint venture between AirAsia & AMY Holdings Inc., the company who owns Zest-O corporation in the Philippines. It operates scheduled domestic and international tourist services, mainly feeder services linking Manila and Cebu with 24 domestic destinations in support of the trunk route operations of other airlines. In 2013, the airline became a sister airline of AirAsia Philippines operating their brand separately. Its main base is in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, and with a hub at Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Cebu. The airline was originally founded as Asian Spirit, the first airline in the Philippines to be run as a cooperative. It was rebranded to Zest Air on March 2008. On 16 August 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the regulating body of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for civil aviation, suspended Zest Air flights until further notice due to safety issues.[40] Less than a year after AirAsia and Zest Air's strategic alliance, the two companies have rebranded as AirAsia Zest which happened last Sept. 18, 2013.[41]

Indonesia AirAsia[edit]

Main article: Indonesia AirAsia

Indonesia AirAsia operates scheduled domestic, international services and is an Indonesian associate carrier of Malaysian low-fare airline AirAsia. Its main base is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta.[42] Until July 2010, Indonesia Air Asia, along with many Indonesian airlines, was banned from flying to the EU due to safety concerns. However the ban was lifted on July 2010.[43] The airline was established as Awair in 1999 by Abdurrahman Wahid, former chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Muslim organisation. He had a 40% stake in the airline which he relinquished after being elected president of Indonesia in October 1999. On 1 December 2005, Awair changed its name to Indonesia AirAsia in line with the other AirAsia branded airlines in the region. AirAsia Berhad has a 49% share in the airline with Fersindo Nusaperkasa owning 51%. Indonesia's laws disallow majority foreign ownership on domestic civil aviation operations.

Philippines AirAsia[edit]

Main article: Philippines AirAsia

Philippines AirAsia is a joint venture between Filipino investors and AirAsia. The Filipino group include Antonio Cojuangco, Jr., former owner of Associated Broadcasting Company with flagship television station TV5, Micheal Romero, a real estate developer and port operator, and Marianne Hontiveros. The joint venture was approved on 7 December 2010 by the Board of Investments, an agency in the Philippines in charge of big ticket investments. Philippines AirAsia is on the list of air carriers banned in the European Union.[44] On 15 August 2011, Philippines AirAsia took delivery of its first brand-new aircraft, an Airbus A320 which arrived at Clark International Airport in Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga. On 8 November 2011, Philippines AirAsia took delivery of its second A320. On 7 February 2012, the airline received its Air Operator Certificate[45] from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines which gives the airline permission to fly on Philippine airspace.

A Thai AirAsia Boeing 737-300 landing at Don Mueang International Airport

Thai AirAsia[edit]

Main article: Thai AirAsia

Thai AirAsia is a joint venture between AirAsia and Thailand's Asia Aviation. Thai AirAsia launched domestic operations on February 2004. It serves AirAsia's regularly scheduled domestic and international flights from Bangkok and other cities in Thailand. Thai AirAsia was the only low-cost airline operating both domestic and international flights from the Suvarnabhumi Airport.[46] The airline shifted all operations from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Mueang International Airport effective 1 October 2012. Today, Thai AirAsia is 55% owned by Asia Aviation, 45% owned by AirAsia International. The airline sponsors the Thai football teams Buriram United, SCG Muangthong United, Chonburi, Osotspa Saraburi, BEC Tero Sasana, Chiangrai UTD, Esan United, Chainat, Samut Prakan CUTD, Bangkok United, FC Phuket, Krabi, Air Force United, Nakhon Phanom, Loei City, Trang and The referee of FAT.

Thai AirAsia X[edit]

Main article: Thai AirAsia X

Thai AirAsia X is Thailand’s first long-haul low-cost airline, will take to the skies in June 2014. After putting off the launch previously planned for the first quarter, Thai AirAsia X will launch its maiden service from Bangkok to Incheon, South Korea on June 17 and then kick off regular flights to Japan’s Narita airport in Tokyo and Osaka around July.[47]

Fleet[edit]

The total AirAsia fleet (excluding AirAsia X) consists of the following aircraft (as of July 2014):

AirAsia had witnessed a continuous growth in the amount of revenue passenger kilometres. Click graph to enlarge.
AirAsia fleet
Aircraft  In fleet   Orders   Passengers  Notes
Airbus A320-200 169 59 180 Aircraft are distributed as follows:
  • AirAsia (Malaysia) - 81
  • Thai AirAsia - 39
  • Indonesia AirAsia - 30
  • AirAsia Zest - 16
  • Philippines AirAsia - 2
  • AirAsia India - 1

From 2013 onwards Airasia received A320-200 equipped with sharklets

Airbus A320neo 0 264 180 Entering into Service in 2016
Airbus A330-900neo 0 50 Entering service in 2018
Total 169 373  

On 28 February 2014, AirAsia deferred 7 Airbus A320 and 12 Airbus A320 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Fleet renewal[edit]

AirAsia plane sporting the "Airline of the Year" livery, taxiing at Kuching
The interior of an AirAsia Airbus A320-200 aircraft.

Previously operating the Boeing 737–300, AirAsia has now completely converted to the Airbus A320-200.

In June 2011 AirAsia ordered 200 Airbus A320neos at the Paris Air Show.[48][49] The planes are due to become available in 2015, and the deal is one of the largest ever for commercial aircraft in a single order.[48] The deal was worth USD 18 billion at list prices, although it is likely that AirAsia obtained a substantial discount from those prices.[49] The deal makes AirAsia Airbus' single biggest customer.[50] On 13 December 2012, AirAsia placed an order for additional 100 Airbus A320 jets, splitting it between 64 A320neo and 36 A320ceo.[51] With this, the total number of orders that AirAsia had placed for the Airbus A320 had gone up to 475.

Services[edit]

On board[edit]

AirAsia offers "Snack Attack," a buy on board programme offering food and drinks for purchase.[52] Air Asia is accredited by the KL Syariah Index, and in accordance with Shariah law it does not serve alcohol or pork. However, this applies only to the regional AirAsia group flights, and not to the AirAsia X flights, which do sell wine and beer on board.[53]

Frequent-flyer program[edit]

AirAsia is taking the first steps towards starting its own frequent-flyer programme. The airline has signed an agreement to start a joint venture with financial services firm Tune Money to launch a programme called "BIG". Under this programme it will issue loyalty points to AirAsia customers and third-party merchants. Points can then be used to redeem AirAsia flights.[54]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "AirAsia BIG Loyalty Programme". Airasia.com. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Aireen Omar dilantik CEO AirAsia Malaysia". 18 June 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "AirAsia net profit dips on unfavourable forex and higher finance cost". AsiaOne. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kurlantzick, Joshua (23 December 2007). "Does Low Cost Mean High Risk?". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "AirAsia Annual Report 2008." AirAsia. 3 (5/137). Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  7. ^ Chan Tien Hin (1 December 2008). "AirAsia Has Record Drop on Loss, Analyst Downgrade". Bloomberg (New York). Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Passengers' perceptions of low cost airlines and full service carriers". Cranfield University. 2005. 
  9. ^ "Protest held against AirAsia". The Star (Kuala Lumpur). 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "AirAsia, MAB told to ensure disabled are not deprived". Daily Express (Kota Kinabalu). 17 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Leong Hung Yee (27 December 2006). "AirAsia embarks on 2nd chapter". The Star (Kuala Lumpur). 
  12. ^ AirAsia Group. "AirAsia's 2007 Annual Report". AirAsia. 
  13. ^ Lopez, Leslie (10 August 2011). "Major Overhaul of Malaysia's Airline Sector". Jakarta Globe. 
  14. ^ "AirAsia profit soars, bullish on outlook". Inquirer. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "AirAsia India to take to the skies in Q4". MCIL Multimedia Sdn Bhd. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Malaysia's AirAsia forming airline JV with Tata". Reuters India. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "AirAsia to invest up to $60 mn in airline venture with Tata". The Economic Times. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "AirAsia ready for India if environment is right: CEO". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "AirAsia-Tata airline deal: 10 facts". NDTV Profit. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Partnership with Tata Sons a marriage made in heaven for us: AirAsia". NDTV Profit. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "AirAsia to tie up with Tata Sons for new airline in India". Times of India. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Tata Sons, Telestra Tradeplace and Air Asia to form Air Asia India" (Press release). Economic Times. 20 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "FIPB to take up AirAsia India entry proposal on March 6". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Air Asia India to begin recruiting team for operations in Chennai - The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  25. ^ Maiden flight of AirAsia's India venture
  26. ^ a b c "ANA Official Press Release on the establishment of AirAsia Japan". Ana.co.jp. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  27. ^ "AirAsia-ANA tie-up likely". Thestar.com.my. 15 July 2011. [dead link]
  28. ^ Yuri Kageyama (3 October 2012). "Low cost flying arrives in luxury loving Japan - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  29. ^ "ANA, AirAsia to Launch Budget Carrier in Japan". Wall Street Journal. 22 July 2011. 
  30. ^ "AirAsia terminates Japan joint venture". The Star Online. 26 June 2013. 
  31. ^ "AirAsia to re-enter Japan’s low cost carrier market". AirAsia. 1 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "X-citing deal for air travellers". The Star. 6 January 2007. The Airline will be operating "incredibly" cheap prices to and from Asia to the East Coast of Australia
  33. ^ "AirAsia X en route". smh.com. 18 September 2007. 
  34. ^ "Cut-price airlines landing like flies". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 May 2007. 
  35. ^ "Jetstar terminates Melbourne-Hawaii route". 8 August 2007. 
  36. ^ "AirAsia confirms 15 Airbus A330-300 deal". Malaysia: Daily Express. 14 May 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  37. ^ AirAsia X Orders 10 Additional Airbus A330 Aircraft
  38. ^ Yvonne Tan (1 November 2008). "AirAsia X takes delivery of first Airbus A330". The Star. 
  39. ^ "AirAsia X Chooses Manara & Orix As New Investors". 14 February 2008. 
  40. ^ "Zest Air suspended due to safety breaches | Inquirer Business". Business.inquirer.net. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  41. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/09/23/13/rebranded-airasia-zest-gets-cab-approval
  42. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 93. 
  43. ^ "List of airlines banned within the EU". European Commission's "Transport" website. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  44. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/doc/list_en.pdf
  45. ^ TTG Asia - Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News - AirAsia Philippines gets license to fly
  46. ^ Thai AirAsia To Stay At Suvarnabhumi Airport :: Bernama.com
  47. ^ http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/aviation/406124/thai-airasia-x-to-take-to-the-skies-in-june
  48. ^ a b "Airbus and AirAsia announce record deal for 200 planes". BBC News. 23 June 2011. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  49. ^ a b Odell, Mark; Boxell, James (23 June 2011). "Airbus secures 200 jet order from AirAsia". Financial Times (London). 
  50. ^ "AirAsia's Fernandes bets big on boyhood idea". Reuters. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  51. ^ "AirAsia orders 100 more A320s". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  52. ^ "Snack Attack[dead link]." AirAsia. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  53. ^ AirAsia X Snack Attack[dead link]. airasia.com. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  54. ^ Govindasamy, Siva (21 September 2011). "AirAsia to launch frequent-flyer program". Flight Global. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 

External links[edit]