Capital A Malaysia: AirAsia across the globe to merge

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Malaysia’s Capital A Berhad announced plans to sell its aviation business to AirAsia X Bhd. This move aims to unite long and short-haul operations under the AirAsia brand.

Capital A Berhad declared its intention to offload its aviation business to AirAsia X Bhd. The ambitious goal is to consolidate both short and long-haul operations under the universally recognised AirAsia banner.

Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes, at AirAsia’s 2024 outlook briefing, hinted at the impending deal without disclosing the monetary value. Fernandes envisioned a united force within the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“Eventually AirAsia X and AirAsia will be merged into one airline… my dream is for it to be one ASEAN airline.”

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While the full details of the deal remain shrouded in mystery, Fernandes assured reporters that all would be revealed within the next two weeks, keeping the industry on tenterhooks.

AirAsia, established in 2001 with just two aircraft, has since burgeoned into one of Asia’s titans, boasting a fleet of approximately 200 planes serving markets across Southeast Asia and China. The pandemic dealt severe blows to both Capital A and AirAsia X, pushing them into the financially distressed category (PN17) on Malaysia’s stock exchange. However, AirAsia X managed to shake off the classification in November, implementing measures to fortify its financial standing.

Fernandes, exuding confidence, predicted a return to full pre-pandemic capacity for the group’s airlines by the end of the first quarter. Revealing ambitious plans, he disclosed a staggering order of 400 planes, with Airbus set to deliver new A321 aircraft starting the second quarter of 2025.

European routes

As if that wasn’t enough, AirAsia eyes expansion beyond its current horizons. Fernandes unveiled plans to add routes to Europe, South America, and Africa by the year’s end, signalling a bold stride into new territories, reported Bangkok Post.

Fernandes shared his intention to retire within five years. The sale of the airline, he affirmed, would not only raise funds but also allow Capital A to concentrate on its non-aviation ventures – an impressive portfolio including payments firm BigPay, logistics arm Teleport, and online travel agency AirAsia MOVE.

In a separate statement, Fernandes expressed confidence that the separation of the aviation business from Capital A would highlight the intrinsic value and potential of the group’s undervalued non-aviation entities. Capital A plans to unveil a PN17 regularisation plan by June 30, following the completion of the aviation disposal, Fernandes added.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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