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


AirAsia, the leading low-cost carrier in Southeast Asia, has revealed its ambitious plan to become the world’s first low-cost network carrier.

According to the low-cost airline, the transformation will build upon their successful 22-year history of operating a multi-hub strategy across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and soon, Cambodia.

The announcement coincided with a visit from Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft business, to AirAsia’s headquarters in Malaysia.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia’s parent company Capital A, emphasized the pivotal role of their partnership with Airbus in their journey of becoming one of the world’s largest airlines.

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. Their versatile aircraft provide the best fit for our network expansion plan, with the continuous developments and improvements to the aircraft, improved fuel efficiency, increase in payload and in range capabilities, all of which offer unrivalled economics for our commitment to consistently deliver best value, high quality service.

AirAsia plans to bolster its network capabilities by phasing in A321XLR and A321LR aircraft, replacing its existing A320 fleet.

These new aircraft will open up possibilities for reaching new destinations in secondary markets like North Asia, Australia, and Central Asia from Southeast Asia.

Fernandes said:

We look forward to expanding our narrow-body fleet with the introduction of the A321XLR and exploring opportunities with the A321LR, which will gradually replace our workhorse A320 predecessor over the coming years from our key hubs including Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and more.

The airline also intends to expand its medium to long-haul network with Airbus A330neo aircraft, targeting destinations in Europe, Africa (such as Cairo, Nairobi, and Cape Town) and North America (including New York, Miami, and Toronto).

AirAsia, which began with just two aircraft in 2001, quickly transitioned to an all-Airbus fleet, making them a major Airbus customer with a substantial order book.

The low-cost airline said it will resume Airbus A321neo deliveries this year to cope with the forecasted strong air travel demand.

In the coming months, the airline plans to launch its latest venture, AirAsia Cambodia, which will be based at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

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