is the Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It is the largest airline in Malaysia by fleet size and destinations, and Asia’s largest low-cost airline by passengers carried and jet fleet. AirAsia Group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations spanning 25 countries. Its main hub is klia2, the low-cost carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Its affiliate airlines Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia, and AirAsia India have hubs in Don Mueang International Airport, Soekarno–Hatta International Airport, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and Kempegowda International Airport respectively, while its sister airline, AirAsia X, focuses on long-haul routes. AirAsia’s registered office is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor while its head office is at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
In October 2012, Air Asia’s management said that they were keen to have more presence in India if the aviation environment and tax structure were conducive and friendly for low-cost airline operations. With the new Indian Government allowing a foreign direct investment of up to 49% in aviation sector, the airline CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted “Fantastic news that India has opened up investments to foreign airlines.” He said that it was now easier for him to set up an airline in India. Tony Fernandes called the joint venture with Tata Sons a marriage made in heaven. He said that the Tatas know India very well and have a good reputation. A tie-up with the company would help AirAsia operate efficiently. Fernandes said that he would concentrate mainly on the one million south Indians who travel by rail. AirAsia announced its Indian low-cost affiliate airline on 19 February 2013. The airline would be operated as a joint venture, with AirAsia holding 49% of the airline. Arun Bhatia took up 21% and Tata Sons the remaining 30% stake in the airline. The joint venture would also mark Tata Sons’ return to aviation industry after 60 years. AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up an affiliate airline in India. The airlines is headquartered in Chennai and planned to make Chennai International Airport as its hub. Later, the primary hub of the airlines was shifted to Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore. The maiden flight of AirAsia’s India venture on Bangalore-Goa route took off on 12 June 2014. The airline announced that Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi will be its hub for North Indian operations.
AirAsia and Japanese network airline All Nippon Airways announced their joint venture at a press conference in Tokyo on 21 July 2011. Following its establishment in August 2011, AirAsia Japan flew its first flight in August 2012. AirAsia Japan was the first low-cost airline to be based at Narita International Airport. Its formation was announced only months after ANA had announced the formation of Peach, a low-cost airline based at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, and alongside a concurrent effort by Japan Airlines to set up a low-cost affiliate. ANA elected to partner with an existing low-cost airline for efficiency and strategic advantage. It was the fifth affiliate airline for AirAsia and the ninth for ANA. The airline was headquartered alongside ANA in Tokyo, with its main operating base at Narita, and served domestic destinations, utilising the brand and service model of AirAsia. Future planned international destinations included the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan.
AirAsia Japan terminated its operations on 27 October 2013 after announcing the dissolution of its joint venture in June 2013.
In a press release on 1 July 2014 AirAsia announced a relaunch of the AirAsia Japan brand. The first flight is scheduled to depart in the summer of 2015.
AirAsia X is the long-haul operation of AirAsia. The franchise is able to keep costs down by using a common ticketing system, aircraft livery, employee uniforms, and management style. AirAsia X is also affiliated with Virgin Group and Air Canada. On 17 May 2007, Tony Fernandes announced plans to commence flights from Malaysia to Australia. Fernandes said he would be avoiding Sydney Airport due to its high fees. Instead, the airline would concentrate on cheaper alternatives such as Melbourne’s Avalon Airport, Williamtown Airport in Newcastle, and Adelaide Airport. Sustained fares were predicted to be around MYR 800 (A$285) for a return fare, plus taxes. Interest was also expressed in using Gold Coast Airport as another Australian destination. On 14 May 2007, AirAsia confirmed that it had ordered 15 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, 5 more than originally announced. The aircraft were scheduled for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2008. On 27 March 2008, AirAsia signed a firm contract for another 10 Airbus A330-300s bringing the airline’s total order to 25. AirAsia X received its first A330 on 31 October 2008 in Toulouse, France. As of 14 February 2008, 48% of AirAsia X is owned by Aero Ventures; a venture of Tony Fernandes, other prominent Malaysians, and Air Canada’s Robert Milton. Virgin Group own 16% and a further 16% is owned by AirAsia. Bahrain-based Manara Consortium, and Japan-based Orix Corp have taken a 20% stake in AirAsia X for RM250 million.
At 1 March 2016, the fleet consists of 20 Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The airline also has 2 Airbus A330-300, 66 Airbus A330-900 and 10 Airbus A350-900s on order.
Indonesia AirAsia & Indonesia AirAsia X
Indonesia AirAsia operates scheduled domestic, international services and is an Indonesian associate carrier of Malaysian low-fare airline AirAsia. Its main base is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta.Until July 2010, Indonesia Air Asia, along with many Indonesian airlines, was banned from flying to the EU due to safety concerns. However, the ban was lifted on July 2010. The airline was established as Awair in 1999 by Abdurrahman Wahid, former chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Muslim organisation. He had a 40% stake in the airline which he relinquished after being elected president of Indonesia in October 1999. On 1 December 2005, Awair changed its name to Indonesia AirAsia in line with the other AirAsia branded airlines in the region. AirAsia Berhad has a 49% share in the airline with Fersindo Nusaperkasa owning 51%. Indonesia’s laws disallow majority foreign ownership on domestic civil aviation operations.
Indonesia AirAsia X is a joint venture of AirAsia X. It serves Indonesia AirAsia’s regularly scheduled long haul international flights from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Indonesia AirAsia X launched its first flight to Taipei on 29 January 2015.
Indonesian low-cost carrier Indonesia AirAsia looks set to cease operations as a standalone carrier, and be merged with sister AirAsia subsidiary, Indonesia AirAsia X.
Philippines AirAsia is a joint venture between Filipino investors and AirAsia. The Filipino group include Antonio Cojuangco, Jr., former owner of Associated Broadcasting Company with flagship television station TV5, Micheal Romero, a real estate developer and port operator, and Marianne Hontiveros. The joint venture was approved on 7 December 2010 by the Board of Investments, an agency in the Philippines in charge of big ticket investments. AirAsia Zest Airways, Inc., operating as AirAsia Zest (formerly Asian Spirit, and Zest Air), is a joint venture between AirAsia & AMY Holdings Inc., the company who owns Zest-O corporation in the Philippines. It operates scheduled domestic and international tourist services, mainly feeder services linking Manila and Cebu with 24 domestic destinations in support of the trunk route operations of other airlines. In 2013, the airline became a sister airline of AirAsia Philippines operating their brand separately. Its main base is in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, and with a hub at Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Cebu. The airline was founded as Asian Spirit, the first airline in the Philippines to be run as a cooperative. It was rebranded to Zest Air on March 2008. On 16 August 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the regulating body of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for civil aviation, suspended Zest Air flights until further notice due to safety issues. Less than a year after AirAsia and Zest Air’s strategic alliance, the two companies rebranded as AirAsia Zest on 18 September 2013.
Philippines AirAsia is one of the Philippine air carriers banned in the European Union. On 15 August 2011, Philippines AirAsia took delivery of its first brand-new aircraft, an Airbus A320 which arrived at Clark International Airport in Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga. On 8 November 2011, Philippines AirAsia took delivery of its second A320. On 7 February 2012, the airline received its Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines which gives the airline permission to fly in Philippine airspace.
Thai AirAsia & Thai AirAsia X
Thai AirAsia is a joint venture between AirAsia and Thailand’s Asia Aviation. Thai AirAsia launched domestic operations on February 2004. It serves AirAsia’s regularly scheduled domestic and international flights from Bangkok and other cities in Thailand. Thai AirAsia was the only low-cost airline operating both domestic and international flights from the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The airline shifted all operations from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Mueang International Airport effective 1 October 2012. Thai AirAsia is 55% owned by Asia Aviation, 45% owned by AirAsia International. The airline sponsors the Thai football teams Buriram United, SCG Muangthong United, Chonburi, Osotspa Saraburi, BEC Tero Sasana, Chiangrai UTD, Esan United, Chainat, Samut Prakan CUTD, Bangkok United, FC Phuket, Krabi, Air Force United, Nakhon Phanom, Loei City, Trang and the referee of Football Association of Thailand.
Thai AirAsia X is Thailand’s first long-haul low-cost airline. It was scheduled to begin operations in June 2014. After putting off the launch that had been planned for the first quarter, Thai AirAsia X was to launch its maiden service from Bangkok to Incheon, South Korea on 17 June and then begin regular flights to Japan’s Narita Airport in Tokyo and Osaka around July.