AirAsia to become the world’s first low-cost network carrier

AirAsia has unveiled plans to launch the world’s first low-cost network carrier, leveraging 22 years of its multi-hub strategy through its airlines in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and soon Cambodia.

The announcement was made during a welcoming ceremony for Christian Scherer, who was recently appointed CEO of the commercial aircraft business of Airbus to AirAsia’s corporate headquarters in Malaysia.

Capital A and AirAsia welcome the new Airbus CEO

Starting with a fleet of just two aircraft in 2001, AirAsia swiftly converted to an all-Airbus fleet, which enabled over two decades of a unique multi-hub strategy through the group of airlines in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – with the newest airline AirAsia Cambodia ready to take flight in the coming months.

AirAsia will be expanding its narrow-body fleet with the introduction of the A321XLR and exploring opportunities with the A321LR to gradually replace its A320 predecessor over the coming years from our key hubs including Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and more. These new aircraft will enable greater flexibility on existing short to medium-haul routes and network expansion to places such as North Asia, Australia and Central Asia from South-east Asia.

AirAsia will also resume its Airbus A321neo deliveries this year in line with strong forecast demand, starting with the first post-lockdown delivery expected in June.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, the umbrella company for the AirAsia aviation group of airlines, said: “Our commitment to Airbus never faltered, even through the pandemic. All of our achievements, including becoming one of the largest and most popular airlines in the world, have been possible with our great partnership with Airbus.

He shared that AirAsia has an orderbook of 647 aircraft consisting of 612 A320 Family and 35 A330 Family aircraft with another 362 A321neo, 20 A321XLR and 15 A330neo to be delivered over the next decade.

“We are also looking to expand our medium to long-haul network to the European continent, to cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Africa (Cairo, Nairobi, Cape Town), East Coast North America (New York, Miami, Toronto) via Europe and West Coast North America (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver) via Japan,” he said.

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