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Air Asia boss: Recovery in 3 months if countries ditch quarantine, testing

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Marufish

The chief executive of the Air Asia Group says the aviation sector could return to normal in about 3 months, if governments ditch quarantine and PCR testing. Tony Fernandes says if countries can re-open without such requirements, demand will rise significantly. According to a Bangkok Post report, Air Asia has sold over 300,000 tickets to Langkawi since the island re-opened.

“If borders re-open tomorrow with no quarantine and PCR test, we will be back to normal by 3 months.”

Fernandes says governments must make decisions based on an acceptance of living with Covid-19, particularly in the wake of mass vaccination and new treatments now coming to market. He wants the Asia-Pacific region to follow in the footsteps of Europe and the US.

“Asia-Pacific is behind Europe and the US. But I am optimistic as Singapore, Thailand, and more have started to re-open.”

The Air Asia boss adds that it could take between 6 and 9 months for his airline to recover to pre-pandemic levels, particularly if China continues to pursue a Covid Zero strategy. In this instance, the country is likely to be the last Asian destination to re-open to international air travel.

Fernandes has concerns about tourism in the region if employees continue to leave to take up work in other sectors. He says if these workers don’t return to tourism once the recovery begins, hotels and tourist attractions will struggle to get staff. In the case of Air Asia, he says the carrier intends to resume full salary payments for employees within the next month. In the case of staff on furlough, Air Asia should be in a position to bring them back to work from January. After a long dark period for aviation, Fernandes believes the end is in sight.

“There is a long way to go, but we are back.”

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Air Asia boss: Recovery in 3 months if countries ditch quarantine, testing | News by Thaiger

 

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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