AirAsia to Offer more Flight Options to Travelers Post Airbus Transaction Conclusion
By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Friday, 15 September 2023
Travelers may soon have more flight options, as Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia is close to signing a deal with Airbus for wide-body aircraft. As part of its ambitions for a regional multi-hub strategy, the budget airline is considering fleet expansion across both short- and long-haul flights, as well as more flight routes.
According to Mr Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of Capital A, the budget carrier's parent company, the deal will be primarily with Airbus, though Boeing has also made offers.
“Right now, we're looking at more capacity. I can announce for the first time on CNA that we're looking at an aircraft order,” he told the national broadcaster on Thursday (Sep 14), during an interview with presenter Roland Lim on the sidelines of the annual Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore.
“I never believed that we would be looking at a new aircraft order, so it is an exciting moment that we're in discussion with manufacturers for a wide body order.”
He also stated that the new order's size is still subject to board approval and will be announced in due course. AirAsia wants to make the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) its multi-hub network strategy with fleet expansion.
"We see enormous potential in transforming ASEAN into a multi-hub strategy." In terms of a hub into Africa, Europe, and even North America could be as large as Dubai for Emirates and Doha for Qatar, according to Mr Fernandes.
This comes as he observes a possible trend of Chinese tourists preferring to travel closer to home rather than further afield.