AirAsia Launches Asean Headquarters in Jakarta
Southeast Asia’s largest budget carrier, AirAsia, officiated the headquarters of its new Asean unit in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Tony Fernandes, chief executive of AirAsia Group, said AirAsia Asean was launched to anticipate an increase in flights between Asean member states after the “open skies” policy takes effect in 2015. The policy is expected to liberalize the regional aviation market by giving airlines more freedom to serve routes in other Asean countries.
The Malaysian-based carrier already has units in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, along with an AirAsia X unit for long-haul flights.
Fernandes said AirAsia opened its Asean office in Jakarta because the Asean secretariat in South Jakarta was expected to support its operations.
He added that he and his deputy, who are both currently based in Malaysia, would soon move to the new Jakarta office.
“The establishment of the AirAsia Asean office in Jakarta as our regional base is meant to help us realize the pledge of ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’ to the people of Asean and its surrounding areas,” Fernandes said during the launching event in Jakarta on Tuesday.
“We’re very pleased to be in a region that’s predicted to have steady economic growth in spite of the economic crisis in Europe and the US.”
Fernandes added that the potential of the Asean market, with a combined population of 600 million, was far larger than the market potential of each individual country in the region.
AirAsia currently operates 104 units of Airbus A320, nine units of Airbus A330 and two units of Airbus A340. It has ordered 375 units of A320, 25 units of A330 and 10 units of A350 as part of its expansion plan.
AirAsia Group currently serves more than 160 routes to 85 destinations, including 55 in the Asean region.