According to the Reuters report of 14 September 2009 …
“AirAsia is trying to raise fund of up to RM560 million by selling 400 million new shares via private placement to reduce its debts. Analysts in Malaysia said last month that AirAsia’s tight cash flow and high debt level was worrying given its commitment to fund aircraft deliveries. Last month it deferred the delivery of eight Airbus A320 aircrafts to 2014 from 2010, which analysts said signals potential over-capacity in the future.”
No wonder AirAsia was having extreme difficulty in paying its Airport Tax debts totaling RM65 million (in March 2009) to MAHB!
By the way, the RM65 million debt was negotiated down from the initial sum of RM110 million. It seems to be a new trend that Airport Tax, which was collectively paid in advance by passengers, can now be owed and negotiated down. It is very strange indeed that this state of affairs should also be taking place when year-in and year-out AirAsia had been reporting to have made huge profits! It boggles the mind.
I shall be tabling a question in Parliament for this October session to ascertain what is the actual total Airport Tax that had been owed to MAHB by AirAsia as at 31 September 2009 and what positive actions had been taken by MAHB to recover the said debt.
EPF, as one of the biggest shareholders of AirAsia (holding about 11% and being the custodian of our workers’ monies) should properly examine the financial state of AirAsia before taking up more AirAsia shares.
The Government should impose a control on the selling of air tickets many months in advance by all airlines so that public interests are protected — and more importantly — to avoid using public funds for bailouts when airlines are unable to meet their commitments.