Updates @ 4:45 pm on 20-5-2015: Another AirAsia’s route expansion to Kaoshiung, Taiwan, commencing on 16-7-2015. It looks like AirAsia is on an expansion spree. Congratulation! HERE.
Updates @ 2:35 pm on 20-5-2015: AirAsia had now denied a report that it is selling its Big Loyalty Programe, HERE. Congratulations!
Of late, we hear so much of AirAsia’s great expansion plans. As Malaysians, we can’t help but to feel very proud about it because no other airlines in the world could match its fantastic business model and achievements without any help from the government – so we were told.
On 2-12-2014 Tony Fernandes, CEO of AAirAsia Group, had announced the plan to resume flight to London, which it ditched in 2012 and poor MAS under the stewardship of En Ahmad Jauhari Yahya (aka AJ) had to pick up the pieces. MAS was made to ferry about 35,000 AirAsia X passengers to Mumbai, Paris, London and Australia at below market fares, HERE.
On 13-12-2012 Airbus announced that AirAsia has ordered 100 airbus A320s. It quoted Tony Fernandes to have said that
We have three gold mines in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. On the other hand, Philippines and Japan have enormous potential growth. With these added aircraft, it goes in-line with our strategy to further build our already extensive network through new routes and added frequencies and allow AirAsia to maintain its market leadership.” Please read HERE.
In another report report on, 2-2-2015 AirAsia X decided to defer four of the eight A330-300 deliveries that were initially slated for 2016 and three of the eight deliveries that were slated for 2017. Two of these aircraft have been deferred until 2018 while the other five have been converted to A330-900neo orders, raising the group’s commitment for the new type to 55 aircraft. AirAsia X expects to begin taking the A330-900neo in late 2018 and take all 55 by the end of 2026, HERE. What had happened to the remaining 45 aircraft that were ordered in 2012?
The AirAsia X IPO
In mid 2013 AirAsia X launched its IPO and BK Sidhu, the Editor of Business Star and de facto AirAsia’s promoter/corporate communication, wrote and published a most misleading news that the shares of AirAsia X IPO will be over-subscribed by 5 to 6 times. Of course, BK Sidhu quoted an unidentified source, who could be her ultimate “boss”.
The AirAsia IPO share price was fixed at RM1.45 per share. Upon listing the share price was RM1.25.
It was most unfortunate for the shameless BK Sidhu, the respond for the AirAsia X IPO turned out to be very bad. It was so bad that Maybank Investment had to pump in almost RM40 million to stabilise the AirAsia X IPO share price, HERE.
On 19-5-2015 (two years later) AirAsia X share price stood at RM 0.275 per share, HERE.
The Dream Honolulu Airport
On 6-4-2015 AirAsia announced that from November 1, 2015 AirAsia will fly four time weekly to Honolulu, HERE.
Rumours have it that certain personality is working on overdrive to lobby for President Barack Obama to launch the AirAsia X inaugural flight to Honolulu in late October, 2015. We all hope that such rummours will materialise by October / November 2015.
To make this AirAsia X Honolulu flight a world event of the year, the President of China Mr Xi Jinping and/or President of Russia Vladimir Putin should also be invited to launch this low cost flight to Honolulu. Their presence will be icing on the cake. Of course, we all would like to believe that such rumours are true and it will be another feather on the hat for Tony Fernandes, AirAsia and more importantly, for Malaysia.
Just imagine, a low cost airline like AirAsia X could secure three most powerful world leaders to grace the occasion. It will be the proudest moment not only for the best CEO of the year, Tony Fernandes, but Malaysia. However, if the other two world leaders are not going to be invited then President Barrack Obama will be more than sufficient. We await patiently.
The Expansion To Pattaya
On 14-5-2015 AirAsia also announced another expansion plan that from July 16, 2015 AirAsia will fly four time weekly from KL to Pataya, HERE.
The Disposal Of Shares In AirAsia & Related Companies By Founders
On 16-7-2014 Datuk Seri Kalimullah Masheerul disposed of his 6,767,971 shares in AirAsia, HERE.
In December 2014 it was reported that Tony Fernandes sold 944,000 shares in AirAsia, just a few days before the crashed of AirAsia flight QZ8501, HERE.
On 19-1-2015 AirAsia X Bhd’s non-executive director and former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Kalimullah Masheerul has sold 4.61 million shares in the loss-making long haul budget carrier, which amounted to 0.19% of AirAsia X’s share base, HERE.
On 27-4-2015 AirAsia losses amounted to RM429 million for the last three months of 2015 HERE.
On 24-2-2015 AirAsia X posted losses amounted to RM529 million, HERE.
Malaysia’s AirAsia X Bhd will cut flights on unprofitable routes, reorganize staff and defer some aircraft deliveries to turn around the loss-making long-haul budget carrier, said the airline’s acting chief executive.
“Capacity reduction and cost-cutting within the organization would be two strategies this year,” Benyamin Ismail, the acting Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X said in a telephone interview. Squeezed by intense competition in Southeast Asia’s crowded aviation business, the airline has lost money for the last five quarters, HERE.
Disposal Of Assets
On 20-3-2015 it was reported that AirAsia Bhd will sell 11 aircraft, worth US$271 million (RM1 billion), says group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. He quashed talks that the airline was looking to raise equity, HERE.
On 19-5-2015 it was reported that AirAsia BIG, the loyalty programme owned by Asia’s biggest budget airline and Malaysia’s Tune Group, could raise about US$100 million by selling about a 30% stake, HERE.
AirAsia Group’s Passenger Service Charge (PSC)/Airport Tax & Other Debts To The Tune of RM200 million
It boggles the minds that with the above big expansion plans in store for the next few months, market rumours have it AirAsia Group of Companies is owing Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB) to the tune of at least RM200 million for Passenger Service Charge (PSC), which was previous called Airport Tax, and other debts.
PSC is paid in advance by passengers when they purchase the flight tickets. All airlines collect PSC on behalf of MAHB and the collected PSC will be handed over in full to MAHB within a stipulated time. Therefore, there is no valid reason for AirAsia to have owed more than RM200 million in PSC and other debts to MAHB, HERE.
The shareholders of MAHB should question MAHB why it allows AirAsia to chalk so much PSC and other debts and it did not suspend all airport facilities against AirAsia as a mean to recover the said RM200 million PSC and other debts.
Approval From Authorities For New Routes
With the publicities on the new routes to Honolulu and Pattaya, it is not known that the said routes have been approved by our Ministry of Transport and the authorities in USA and Thailand.
It is the norm that AirAsia will put the tickets on sale before approvals are given like what had happened to its Melbourne – Bali route end of last year, HERE.
AirAsia and/or Ministry of Transport should clarify whether formal approvals have been given for the new routes to Honolulu and Pattaya because we do not want to see members of the public had to be put into unnecessary inconveniences and face with the difficulties of refund. We all know how difficult it is to get a refund from AirAsia. It is just part of its business model.
Nevertheless, we await for President Barrack Obama to launch the AirAsia X inaugural flight to Honolulu.
Now Everyone Can Wait For This Auspicious Occasion.