PETALING JAYA, Sept 8: AirAsia Group Bhd is hoping to raise as much as RM2.5 billion from bank loans and investors by the end of the year, its CEO Tony Fernandes said.

He said the low-cost airline is also reviewing its Japan operations, the smallest of its foreign offshoots, as it seeks to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fernandes told Reuters in an interview the group was looking to raise up to RM1.5 billion from bank loans and another RM1 billion from investors, who include private equity players, strategic partners and conglomerates, both local and foreign.

“It’s progressing quite well and I see no reason why that won’t be met. But I can’t add too much more to that,” he said.

On AirAsia’s operations in Japan, he said: “I think Japan is something we have to really think hard about. If we had tonnes of cash, then it’s something we would probably continue. I think we will have decisions on Japan very soon.”

He said AirAsia intends to consolidate and strengthen its Asean foothold, “and if that means one day exiting India and Japan then so be it”. He said its joint venture with Tata Sons in India remains “as is”.

On AirAsia X’s pending aircraft orders, Fernandes said the group is discussing with Airbus to restructure its order book.

“We’ve been a customer of Airbus for a long, long time. And so we’ll both be professional about it and get out a win-win situation.

“The reality is that I don’t think many airlines are going to take new planes in the next few years. AirAsia is one of them,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here