The move towards an ASEAN Single Aviation Market boosted infrastructure investment and aviation development plans in the region. Growth is also attributed to the proliferation...
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AirAsia was launched in 2001 with the dream of making flying possible for everyone. Since then, AirAsia has swiftly risen to become the world’s best low-cost airline and has never been more proud to call itself “Truly ASEAN”.
The airline group includes the low-cost short-haul carriers AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Thailand, AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Philippines, and AirAsia India; the low-cost long-haul carrier AirAsia X; and the regional base AirAsia asean. All members of the group except for AirAsia Japan and AirAsia India are based in the ASEAN Region.
AirAsia is the leading airline in Malaysia, has the highest frequency for domestic flights in Thailand, and the biggest international passenger carrier in Indonesia.
Growing with the region
From a 2 aircraft- and 250 staff member-company, AirAsia now has approximately 130 aircrafts and employs 10,000 people. It has 15 hubs in the ASEAN region, flies to 10 ASEAN countries, and connects the region to 10 other countries/ territories including, Hong Kong SAR, Macau, Taiwan, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Nepal, and Saudi Arabia. Sixty-five (65) of its 95 destinations are in Southeast Asia.
AirAsia carried 37 million guests in 2012 alone, and more than 200 million guests to date, making it the biggest airline in ASEAN in terms of passenger volume. It has been operationally profitable every year since 2001.
But what’s more encouraging is news about the airline’s business impact. AirAsia’s operations trigger economic activities and benefit not just the airline’s employees and their families, but also indirectly offer gains to players inside and outside the travel and tourism industry.
ASEAN people and location
Aside from its low-cost business model, AirAsia attributes its growth to its people. AirAsia’s workforce comprises of people from different ASEAN countries, allowing the airline to benefit from ASEAN talents’ diverse backgrounds and familiarity with the region.
AirAsia’s strategic location in Southeast Asia is equally important. AirAsia’s location allows the airline access to the region’s 600 million people needing affordable air travel. Its proximity to China and India, as well as Japan and South Korea, further expands AirAsia’s reach to a market of more than 3 billion people. It also gains from ASEAN’s growing economy and expanding middle income class. More people are now flying as ASEAN population’s disposable incomes increase, economic and business activities rise, and GDPs of most ASEAN countries grow.
Heavily invested in ASEAN
AirAsia believes ASEAN is the place to be in now. Confident of continued growth in the region, it is thinking of setting up associate airlines in other ASEAN countries. It plans to open more routes, increase flight frequencies, offer new products and services, and set more joint ventures in the region. As part of its regional expansion, AirAsia X has ordered a total of 25 units of Airbus A330 and 10 Airbus A350, while AirAsia ordered 475 units of Airbus A320 aircraft, making it the largest airline customer of Airbus for its A320 model.
It is bullish on the ASEAN Community and sees the ASEAN integration as a component of its future success. For AirAsia, an integrated ASEAN will result to more streamlined operations, increased access to a bigger talent pool, higher demand for travel, and a more encouraged investment climate. The implementation of ASEAN Open Skies, in particular, is envisioned to mean growth in number of destinations and frequencies, and true liberalization of air travel.
Towards this end, AirAsia has established AirAsia asean to support regionalization efforts within and outside the company. It has begun to prepare the AirAsia Group for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 and has been a steadfast advocate of ASEAN integration efforts as it urges business community to “transcend a national mindset” and embrace a regional outlook.
‘Everyone can fly’
AirAsia continues to pave the way for low-cost air travel thru innovative solutions, efficient processes, and a passionate approach to business. With its tagline ‘Now everyone can fly’, it holds fast to its aim of making air travel truly accessible to not only the 600 million people in ASEAN but also to the billions of people who together call ASEAN, Northeast Asia, and South Asia home.