NOT TO LOOK AT C919’

AirAsia, which has only been us­ing Air­bus SE jets, plans to add 29 planes for to­tal of 201 by end of the year

New Straits Times - - Business / News -

low-cost air­line this month, when he an­nounced a part­ner­ship with China’s Ever­bright group to cre­ate a bud­get air­line in the coun­try.

Fer­nan­des is pre­dict­ing the rest of the year will be bet­ter than last year, af­ter the com­pany posted a 30 per cent drop in firstquar­ter net in­come, say­ing the com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment is im­prov­ing.

“We are see­ing much bet­ter load and yields in the sec­ond, third and fourth quar­ter,” said Fer­nan­des.

“So, 2016 was a record year. We think this year will be bet­ter than last year.”

Net in­come in the first three months of this year fell to RM615.8 mil­lion from RM877.8 mil­lion a year ear­lier, AirAsia re­ported on Thurs­day.

The car­rier also said it planned to add 29 planes for a to­tal of 201 by the end of this year.

The Chi­nese ven­ture will be based in Zhengzhou, the cap­i­tal of cen­tral He­nan prov­ince. While Fer­nan­des de­clined to iden­tify spe­cific routes for the Chi­nese ven­ture, he said the car­rier would fo­cus on mar­kets where it could grow and would “never go to Shang­hai and Bei­jing”.

“We don’t want to dis­rupt ex­ist­ing mar­kets,” he said. “We want to cre­ate new mar­kets and build new busi­nesses. That’s what AirAsia has been good at.” Bloomberg

BLOOMBERG PIC

A C919 air­craft seen at the Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Shang­hai last month. AirAsia group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tan Sri Tony Fer­nan­des (in­set) says the air­line ‘will look at ev­ery­thing’, in­clud­ing newly-de­vel­oped planes like the China-made C919.

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