Fer­nan­des: No merger talks with AirAsia X

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: There have been no merger talks be­tween AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd, says AirAsia group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tan Sri Tony Fer­nan­des, deny­ing a news re­port that the two firms may merge and be­come one en­tity.

“AirAsia’s po­si­tion is very clear, the board has never dis­cussed this and there is no merger (talks) at all.

“The whole pur­pose of set­ting up AirAsia X as a sep­a­rate com­pany is be­cause we be­lieve it should be sep­a­rated, and 10 years on, we still be­lieve that.

“Short- and long-haul op­er­a­tions are two very dif­fer­ent busi­nesses,” said Fer­nan­des af­ter the com­pany’s gen­eral meet­ing, here, yes­ter­day.

Yes­ter­day, the AirAsia group an­nounced first-quar­ter rev­enue of RM2.23 bil­lion, an in­crease of eight per cent on a like-for-like ba­sis from RM2.07 bil­lion in the same quar­ter last year, sup­ported by a six per cent rise in pas­sen­gers car­ried and a four per­cent­age point im­prove­ment in load fac­tor.

Op­er­at­ing profit was at RM391 mil­lion, down 16 per cent, from the same quar­ter last year, mainly due to higher fuel ex­penses.

“With the start of con­sol­i­dated ac­counts com­bin­ing Malaysia, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines, we are tak­ing a ma­jor step to be­ing recog­nised as one air­line.

“AirAsia as OneAirAsia, shar­ing a sin­gle-cost struc­ture, bring­ing im­mense ben­e­fits in terms of

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