Tony Fernandes Capital A expects better performance in 2H24
Tony Fernandes Capital A expects better performance in 2H24

Tony Fernandes: Capital A expects better performance in 2H24

LONDON: Capital A Bhd expects to see an improved financial performance for the upcoming second quarter and the remainder of the second half of 2024 (2H 2024) for AirAsia, in view of improving demand for travel coupled with bringing back over 250 planes into operation.

Chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the low-cost carrier would also be capable of facing rising global airfares as it continues to provide the lowest fares among all airlines.

“Obviously, the biggest job for us was bringing back all the 250 planes that were not flying due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we still have not gotten all of them back. We have about 20 more to go,” he said at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2024 here.

He is also hopeful of bringing all the remaining aircraft into operation by the end of the year, contributing towards better performance for 2H 2024.

“We have now started taking deliveries from Airbus, and this is the first time since COVID-19 that we are adding planes, and of course, we have phenomenal growth potential as we have about 400 aircraft coming in,” he said.

The company has an order book of 647 aircraft, consisting of 612 A320 Family and 35 A330 Family aircraft.

It has taken delivery of 250 aircraft, with the balance comprising 362 A321neo, which includes 36 A321LR, as well as 20 A321XLR and 15 A330neo to be delivered over the next decade.

In terms of route expansion, Fernandes said AirAsia will be flying to Nairobi, Kenya, in October, making AirAsia the first airline in Southeast Asia and the low-cost carrier to fly into the destination.

“I think it is amazing for Malaysian, Southeast Asian and African businesses to be connected directly between Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi. This will be the first of many destinations in Africa as we continue to build the AirAsia network globally,” he said.

He noted that the route expansion for Nairobi would also boost the cargo segments and businesses between Malaysia and Kenya, while students and tourists remain an important target market.

As for Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), the engineering and maintenance subsidiary of Capital A, Fernandes said it also shows significant growth with the new hangar facility, spanning 8.19 hectares, being constructed in two phases, with the first phase slated for operational by August while second phase operational readiness anticipated by October this year.

“The team is very aggressive, and at the moment, there is no plan for the initial public offering, but I am sure at some point they will look at it,” he added. – BK

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