Air Asia: Wikis

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AirAsia Edited.svg
Founded 1993
Hubs Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Secondary hubs Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Senai International Airport
Penang International Airport
Fleet size 86 (+136 orders)
Destinations 65
Company slogan Now Everyone Can Fly
Headquarters Registered office: Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Head office: Sepang, Selangor
Key people Tony Fernandes (CEO)
Azran Osman Rani

AirAsia Berhad dba AirAsia (MYX: 5099) is a Malaysian low-cost airline. It operates scheduled domestic and international flights and is Asia's largest low fare, no frills airline. AirAsia pioneered low cost travelling in Asia[1]. It is also the first airline in the region to implement fully ticketless travel and unassigned seats. However, as of 5 February 2009, AirAsia has finally implemented allocated seatings across all AirAsia flights, including in their sister airlines, Indonesia AirAsia and Thai AirAsia. Its main base is the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Its affiliate airlines Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia have hubs at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Indonesia, respectively. The airline is also considering founding Hong Kong AirAsia in the future.[2] AirAsia's registered office is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor while its head office is on the grounds of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Selangor.[3][4]



An AirAsia Airbus A320 aircraft

The airline was established in 1993 and started operations on 18 November 1996. It was originally founded by a government-owned conglomerate DRB-Hicom. On 2 December 2001, the heavily-indebted airline was purchased by former Time Warner executive Tony Fernandes's company Tune Air Sdn Bhd for the token sum of one ringgit. Fernandes proceeded to engineer a remarkable turnaround, turning a profit in 2002 and launching new routes from its hub in Kuala Lumpur International Airport at breakneck speed, undercutting former monopoly operator Malaysia Airlines with promotional fares as low as RM1 (US $0.27).

In 2003, AirAsia opened a second hub at Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru near Singapore and launched its first international flight to Bangkok. AirAsia has since started a Thai subsidiary, added Singapore itself to the destination list, and commenced flights to Indonesia. Flights to Macau started in June 2004, while flights to Mainland China (Xiamen) and the Philippines (Manila) started in April 2005. Flights to Vietnam and Cambodia followed later in 2005 and to Brunei and Myanmar in 2006, the latter by Thai AirAsia.

A new budget terminal, the first of its kind in Asia was opened in Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 23 March 2006. Built at a cost of RM108 million (US $29.2 million) and spanning some 35,000 square metres (116,000 square feet), the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) is the new home for AirAsia Bhd. LCCT will initially handle 10 million passengers a year. AirAsia Group is expected to carry 18 million passengers in 2007.

AirAsia operates with the world’s lowest unit cost of US$0.023/ASK and a passenger break-even load factor of 52%. It has hedged 100% of its fuel requirements for the next three years, achieves an aircraft turnaround time of 25 minutes, has a crew productivity level that is triple that of Malaysia Airlines and achieves an average aircraft utilisation rate of 13 hours a day.[5]

AirAsia is currently the largest single customer of the Airbus A320.[6] The company has placed an order of 175 units of the same plane to service its routes and at least 50 of these A320 will be operational by 2013. The first unit of the plane arrived on 8 December 2005.

On August 2006, AirAsia took over Malaysia Airlines' Rural Air Service routes in Sabah and Sarawak, operating under the FlyAsianXpress brand. The routes were transferred back to new Malaysia Airlines subsidiaries Firefly and MASwings from August 2007.

On 27 December 2006, AirAsia's CEO Tony Fernandes unveiled a five-year plan to further enhance its presence in Asia.[7] In the plan, AirAsia will strengthen and enhance its route network by connecting all the existing cities in the region and expanding further into Indochina, Indonesia, Southern China (Kun Ming, Xiamen, Shenzen) and India. The airline will focus on developing its hubs in Bangkok and Jakarta through its sister companies, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia. Hence, with increase frequency and addition of new routes, AirAsia expects passenger volume to hit 18 million by end-2007.

From September 2007, AirAsia's Kuala Lumpur hub is fully operated with A320s while Thai AirAsia received its first Airbus A320 in October 2007. Indonesia AirAsia received its first Airbus by January 2008.

On 5 April 2007, AirAsia announced a three-year partnership with the British Formula One team AT&T Williams. The airline brand is displayed on the helmets of Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz, and on the bargeboards and nose of the cars.[8]

On 27 September 2008, has on its list 106 new routes to be added to its current list of 60 over the next few years.[9]

On 12 November 2008, AirAsia abolished fuel surcharges. In doing so, it claimed to be the 'first airline in the world to abolish fuel surcharges'.[10]

By May 2008, the airline had flown 55 million cumulative passengers.[11]

The airline and disabled passengers

Air Asia 737 with illustrations by Lat (Mohammad Nor Khalid)

Disabled passengers from BEAT 'The Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group' protested against the airline for its refusal to fly passengers who were completely immobile.[12] The protesters, headed by the group's co-ordinator Christine Lee, asserted that the disabled were discriminated against when booking AirAsia tickets online, where an icon would appear on the website asking if the ticket purchaser would require “special assistance”. According to Lee, the passenger clicked 'yes', then they would not be able to proceed with the booking. Lee also said that AirAsia charged RM12 for renting out a wheelchair, which a passenger could use to go from the ticketing counter to the departure hall. When interviewed by Malaysia's Daily Express, AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Datuk Tony Fernandes denied that the low cost airline turned away wheelchair using passengers.

He said, the airline's ground staff take the disabled to the aircraft and physically carry them onboard, "We do not even charge for this service and there is certainly no discrimination against them," he claimed [13]. AirAsia's 'Service Fees' post a charge of RM12 Malaysian Ringgit [14] for wheelchair service fees. Several consumerist groups have rallied behind the disabled and wheelchair-using travellers, lobbying to bring about changes in Malaysia's anti-discrimination legislation; among them the 'Fly Air Asia? Not Me' website [15] utilizes viral advertising to pressure legislators. In 2007 the activist group used AirAsia's sponsorship of the Williams Formula One Team and the fact that team owner Sir Frank Williams uses a wheelchair [16][17] to garner public attention and apply pressure upon legislators and the carrier. It is unclear whether such groups have had any measure of success. AirAsia has provided two ambulifts, however, one in its LCC Terminal hub at Kuala Lumpur and another in its Kota Kinabalu hub. A year after the BEAT protest these remain the two hubs that are equipped - while the airline's December 2007 Annual Report [18] affirms that AirAsia flies over 100 routes across 11 countries in Asia and states, 'AirAsia has a firm commitment with a purchase order for 225 Airbus A320 aircraft.' It does not stipulate whether it has any plans to expand access for disabled passengers beyond the two domestic ambulifts.

Rights-based advocate for an inclusive and accessible Malaysia and former assistant coordinator of BEAT, Peter Tan writes from The Digital Awakening, 'Despite assurances by AirAsia CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes on 20 July and again on 4 August this year [2007] that disabled passengers will be treated with dignity, the airlines is still subjecting disabled passengers to discriminatory policies.' [19] after he was required to sign an indemnity releasing AirAsia from all liabilities before being allowed to board the aircraft at Kota Kinabalu International Airport's Terminal 2, agreeing to surrender rights to hold AirAsia liable for damages, injuries or other claims.


The airline claims 'No Admin Fee', but has introduced a number of fees for services that are free on many airlines. Its fees and charges are: seating fee (charged for pre-selecting seats, higher for 'hot seats' (near the front or exits, with priority boarding), 'convenience fee' (a per passenger, per flight charge imposed for all means of payment other than direct debit (only available for customers of certain Malaysian banks)), a charge for in-flight entertainment including use of seat-back video, a checked luggage fee (charged by weight, not by piece, with excess baggage charges payable for carrying baggage exceeding 15kg, if not pre-booked), charges for food, for use of a wheelchair and for amenity kit (pillow, blanket and eyeshade).


Thai AirAsia

Thai AirAsia (Thai: ไทยแอร์เอเชีย) was established on 8 December 2003 as joint venture with Shin Corporation. Flight operations commenced on 13 January 2004 from its base in Don Mueang International Airport. Since 25 September 2006, the airline is based at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Indonesia AirAsia

AirAsia acquired the then defunct Awair in 2004 with a 49% stake in the airline. Awair commenced services on behalf of AirAsia in December 2004; full rebranding to Indonesia AirAsia was completed on 1 December 2005. The airline is based iat Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with a secondary hub at Denpasar (Bali) Airport.

Associate companies

AirAsia X

AirAsia X is a service operated by AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. (previously known as FlyAsianXpress Sdn. Bhd.) as a franchise of AirAsia.[20] It offers long-haul services from Kuala Lumpur to Australia and China using an Airbus A330-300.[21] Its inaugural flight was on 2 November 2007 to Gold Coast, Australia.

FlyAsianXpress was an airline subcontracted by AirAsia for the operations of Rural Air Service within Sabah and Sarawak previously operated by Malaysia Airlines to a new airline, FlyAsianXpress (FAX). Established on 1 August 2006, the airline is a privately owned by the management team of AirAsia. With the formation of MASwings by Malaysia Airlines, FAX ceased all it's rural air services on 1 October 2007 and will concentrate on long haul routes by AirAsia X.

In August 2007, Sir Richard Branson announced his intention to take a 20 percent stake in AirAsia X. The current CEO of AirAsia X is Azran Osman Rani.

After making its mark in Britain with the sponsorship made to the Referees (FA England), AirAsia via AirAsia X is making big waves in the United States of America, with a sponsorship deal with Oakland Raiders American Football team concluded on 15 September 2009. AirAsia received a very warm welcome by the Oakland folks. To extent of this quote by Azran (from his Twitter) azranosmanrani: "Mayor Ronald Dellums just signed official decree Mayor's Proclamation that Monday September 14 2009 as "AirAsia Day" for the city of Oakland!!!"

Tune Hotels

Tune is a limited service hotel chain founded by AirAsia CEO Dato' Tony Fernandes, Currently Tune has hotels in operation in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Penang, the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang and Bali.

Tune Money

Tune Money is Asia's first "no-frills" online financial service owned by Tune Air Sdn. Bhd. Modelled after Virgin Money, it comprises life, home and motor vehicle insurance as well as prepaid cards.


2007 AirAsia domestic route map

AirAsia operates over 200 flights a day, to over 75 domestic and international routes covering Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Australia, United Kingdom, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and the Philippines.


The total AirAsia fleet (including Thai AirAsia, AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia) consists of the following aircraft as of 1 January 2010

AirAsia fleet (including Thai AirAsia, AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia)
Aircraft In fleet Orders Options Passengers
Airbus A320-200 70 105 50 180 (0/180) 49 with AirAsia, 9 with Indonesia AirAsia, 12 with Thai AirAsia
Boeing 737-300 9 0 0 148 (0/148) 4 with Indonesia AirAsia, 5 with Thai AirAsia
To be removed in fleet by 2010[22].
Airbus A330-300 5 21 0 383 (28/355) Operated by AirAsia X.
9M-XAA leased from AWAS
All (except 9M-XAA) are 9 abreast in economy & fitted with IFE
Airbus A340-300 2 0 0 286 (30/256) Operated by AirAsia X

Leased from Orix Aviation

Airbus A350-900 0 10 5 > 400 (-/-) Operated by AirAsia X.
Entry in service 2016[23]
Total 86 136 55

The total AirAsia fleet (excluding Thai AirAsia, AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia) consists of the following aircraft as of 30 November 2009:

AirAsia fleet (excluding Thai AirAsia, AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia)
Aircraft In fleet Passengers
Registration Notes
Airbus A320-214 6 180 (0/180) 9M-AFA - 9M-AFF
Airbus A320-216 43 180 (0/180) 9M-AFG - 9M-AFZ
Total 49

Future A320 deliveries[24]

2010 - 15
2011 - 16
2012 - 24
2013 - 24
2014 - 24
2015 - 2
By end of 2009, AirAsia will have 70 aircraft and by end of 2015 with a total of 175 aircraft.

Fleet renewal

AirAsia began a gradual conversion of its fleet from the Boeing 737-300 to the Airbus A320-200, with the first order made for 40 Airbus A320 aircraft and 40 more on option in a Memorandum of Understanding made in 17 December 2004. When the contract was signed on 25 March 2005, the order was increased to 60 firm orders with 40 on option[25]. The first six Airbus A320s were delivered on 9 December 2005, with the remaining 54 aircraft from the 2005 order to be delivered by June 2009[26].

On 19 July 2006, the airline exercised the options of 40 Airbus A320-200s to increase its total firm orders to 100 aircraft, with another 30 on option[27]. It made a third order of 50 firm A320-200s and increased the options to 50 on 8 January 2007, with delivery expected to be completed by December 2013. The Airbus A320-200 was expected to completely replaced the Boeing 737-300 fleet at the Kuala Lumpur base by July 2007[28]. The airline made its latest order of 25 firm orders on 25 November 2007, bringing its total orders of Airbus aircraft to 175 with 50 on option[29].


In August 2009, AirAsia had signed an amendment agreement with Airbus to defer the delivery dates for 8 of its A320s aircraft by four years to 2014 due to "infrastructural constraints" at the existing low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Sepang as it cannot accommodate its fleet expansion. The rationale to scale down on the delivery of aircraft in 2010 and possibly 2011 is to enable AirAsia to optimize its fleet and avoid the costs associated with leaving idle or under- utilized aircraft due to infrastructural limitations, avoiding having to incur depreciation, interest expense and other costs without earning revenue. The infrastructural constraints will continue at the current airport until the new low-cost carrier terminal is constructed. Earlier In February 2009 the Malaysia's government vetoed an ambitious plan by AirAsia to build a 460-million-dollar airport nearby as KLIA East @ Labu.[31][32]

Inflight services

AirAsia offers "Snack Attack," a buy on board programme offering food and drinks for purchase.[33] Air Asia is accredited by the KL Syariah Index, and as per Shariah law it does not serve alcohol and pork. However, this is only applicable on the regional AirAsia group flights, and not applicable to the AirAsia X flight as it does sell wine and beers on board.[34]

All meals purchased in advance will not be refunded if you cancel your flight. Passengers will not be notified of this during the purchase.

AirAsia also offers advance bookings of Skybus tickets, which are for a bus service to Kuala Lumpur from LCCT. Tickets purchased in advance will not be refunded if you cancel your flight. Passengers will not be notified of this during the purchase.

In addition it does not distribute materials that it considers to be pornographic.[35]

Incidents and accidents

  • On 7 November 2004, AirAsia Flight 104 skidded off the runway in heavy rain after it touched down at Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Two passengers suffered minor injuries.[36]

See also

External links


  1. ^ Does Low Cost Mean High Risk?
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "AirAsia Annual Report 2008." AirAsia. 3 (5/137). Retrieved on 6 October 2009.
  4. ^ Chan Tien Hin. "AirAsia Has Record Drop on Loss, Analyst Downgrade." Bloomberg. 1 December 2008. Retrieved on 27 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Passengers’ perceptions of low cost airlines and full service carriers" (PDF).  
  6. ^
  7. ^ Leong Hung Yee (27 December 2006). "AirAsia embarks on 2nd chapter". The Star.  
  8. ^ AirAsia sponsors the Formula One team Williams
  9. ^ AirAsia unleashes its X-factor
  11. ^ Sunday Observer: Air Asia flies to Sri Lanka from August
  12. ^ The Star, 16 July 2007
  13. ^ AirAsia, MAB told to ensure disabled are not deprived; Daily Express, 17 July '07
  14. ^ AirAsia Fee Schedule - wheelchair service charge
  15. ^ The Unofficial AirAsia Website - 'Fly Air Asia? Not Me'
  16. ^ Air Asia/Williams Sponsorship
  17. ^ Guerilla public-service campaign featuring Williams F1 wheelchair-bound boss, Sir Frank Williams
  18. ^ AirAsia Annual Report December '07 - PDF
  19. ^ Disabled Activist Peter Tan's Indemnity Incident
  20. ^ "X-citing deal for air travellers". The Star. 2007-01-06.  
  21. ^ "AirAsia X London flights from RM9.99". The Star. 2007-01-05.  
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "AirAsia increases A320 commitment to 100 aircraft".  
  26. ^ "AirAsia initiates total fleet renewal with Airbus A320".  
  27. ^ "AirAsia orders 40 more A320 Family aircraft".  
  28. ^ "100 more A320s for AirAsia".  
  29. ^ Malaysia's AirAsia increases A320 order to 175 planes
  30. ^ "AirAsia orders additional 25 Airbus A320s" Flight Global, 6 December 2007
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Snack Attack." AirAsia. Retrieved on 24 November 2008.
  34. ^ [2] ." AirAsia X Snack Attack. Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
  35. ^ "FAQs." AirAsia. Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
  36. ^ "7 Nov 2004 - AirAsia 737-300 over-runs runway in heavy rain". 737 Technical site.  

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