Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Capital A Wants to Merge AirAsia and AirAsia X

23 hours ago

Malaysia’s Capital A has submitted plans for a corporate restructuring, which will involve the merger of its low-cost airline AirAsia with long-haul carrier AirAsia X.

The company will set up a new division, called AirAsia Aviation, which will be run by Bo Lingam, who is currently president, airlines and group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group Limited.

Capital A will then also include two other portfolios: the digital businesses and the logistics plus aviation services. They will be managed by Captial A CEO Tony Fernandes, who stepped down as acting group CEO of AirAsia X earlier this month.

The group also wants to carry out a separate “spin-off listing” in the future for the aviation services businesses of Capital A.

The corporate restructuring is designed to help it exit its “PN17” status, given to it by Bursa Malaysia, Malaysia’s stock exchange, which classifies it as a financially-distressed firm.

“We were at the sharp end of Covid, as were many airlines around the world, but we are coming out of it stronger than before — our airlines and network are fast returning to pre-pandemic levels, and our digital businesses are performing better than many had expected,” Fernandes said in a statement.

“While our PN17 status remains an accounting issue and does not accurately reflect the business viability and prospects of Capital A, we have nevertheless worked very hard to develop a plan to address the PN17 status as a key part of our post-pandemic recovery journey.”

Capital A aims to submit its proposal to Bursa Malaysia for approval in February 2023.

Formerly known as AirAsia Group, Capital A has become an investment holding company with a  portfolio of business that includes its airasia superapp, which saw monthly active users reach more than 10.6 million in the second quarter of this year. It also operates fintech firm BigPay.

AirAsia X recently resumed flights between Kuala Lumpur and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Airlines

Tony Fernandes Steps Down as Acting Group CEO of AirAsia X

4 weeks ago

Tony Fernandes has stepped down as the acting group CEO of Capital A’s long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X citing “other commitments,” the airline announced in a note to investors on Monday.

“I’m now going to focus on delivering significant value to shareholders of Capital A, including the AirAsia Aviation Group, aviation services, logistics, travel, fintech and the e-commerce lifestyle platform,” Fernandes said in a press statement.

Having served as the non-independent non-executive director of AirAsia X, Fernandes stepped in to the role of acting group CEO in July this year.

Mahmood Fawzy has now been appointed as the independent non-executive director of Thai AirAsia X.

AirAsia X had entered a court-overseen debt restructuring process during the pandemic. The airline completed the debt restructuring in March.

Fernandes, in a press statement, mentioned that his job had been to restart AirAsia X and bring it back to profitability and growth after the hibernation. “I am happy that this has been accomplished with a very edifying plan for 20 aircraft for the AirAsia XGroup — 13 aircraft for AirAsia X and seven for Thai AirAsia X.”

He went on to note that following the restructuring the airline has improved the cost structure, and created a cargo business, which has contributed about 20 percent to the airline’s revenue during the pandemic and will continue to play a vital role in its recovery.

The airline in a statement in August had noted that it would be ramping up flight frequencies and would return to daily services to most destinations before 2023, with optimised aircraft utilisation of 15 hours by December.

Airlines

AirAsia Superapp Topped 10 Million Monthly Active Users in the Second Quarter

4 months ago

As travel recovers in Southeast Asia, the AirAsia superapp saw the ranks of its monthly active users reach more than 10.6 million in the second quarter with an assortment of services, Capital A stated Monday in releasing the airline group’s preliminary operating statistics.

AirAsia Super App. AirAsia

On the digital front, the AirAsia superapp saw its monthly active users rise 236 percent year over year to more than 10.6 million in the quarter that ended June 30, and that represented a 70 percent jump compared with the first quarter. Category leader Grab in Singapore had about three times the number of users in the first quarter, which was the latest statistics available.

Capital A, formerly known as AirAsia Group Berhad, said the rise in its monthly active users can be attributed to “the strong return of travel” and efforts to attract new users for the mobile app.

Capital A

Transactions, boosted by increases in flights, ridesharing, the Kiwi.com-powered booking of airlines outside the group, and the company’s subscription discount service Super+, rose 524 percent to nearly 4.9 million in the second quarter.

The release of these preliminary operating statistics did not include revenue numbers or transaction values.

Capital A’s BigPay fintech offering, with new products such as the DuitNow QR code merchant payments and money transfers, saw the number of customers with an active card increase 62 percent year over year to more than 1.2 million.

The company’s logistics business, Teleport, saw its cargo tonnage fall 27 percent year over year because of the tough lockdowns in China that began in March. Deliveries, however, soared 630 percent year over year to 1.15 million because of a new e-commerce platform that the company began using during the second quarter, Capital A said.

Malaysia-based Capital A said its passenger numbers in the second quarter leaped 633 percent, and its load factor of 84 percent was its highest since 2020.

Airlines

AirAsia X to Return to London, Hawaii

6 months ago

Capital A’s long-haul budget airline, AirAsia X, will resume flights to London a decade after suspending them as the airline rebuilds its route map after restructuring during the pandemic.

The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier will begin flights to London, as well as Dubai and Istanbul, later this year without specifying a date, it said Wednesday. In addition, AirAsia X will resume its sole U.S. route — to Honolulu from Osaka — on October 3 after a more than two-year hiatus.

(byeangel/Flickr)

“We are back, better and stronger than ever. We have spent the downtime in flying reviewing every aspect of the operation to deliver even greater value and choice for medium and long haul travel,” AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said.

“Today’s announcement of the resumption of four routes to Japan and Hawaii and to launch flights to London, Istanbul and Dubai is just the beginning. We have many more destinations in the pipeline which we will announce soon, to meet strong pent up demand,” Ismail added.

AirAsia X last served London, via the city’s Gatwick airport, in 2012, according to Cirium schedules.

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