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Air Asia upbeat about ASEAN recovery

AirAsia Group Bhd. aircraft stand on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia. (Photographer: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

AirAsia is already seeing strong positive signs of recovery from across its regional market, including the Philippines, indicating that forward bookings for future travel are already on the rebound.

Bo Lingam, President Airlines of AirAsia Group, announced last night (November 17) that AirAsia Group remained confident of returning stronger and more robust post-pandemic.

Given the recent positive developments in the fight against COVID-19, coupled with the airline’s cost containment strategies, its pivot into – an Asean digital travel and lifestyle super app, plus the steady growth of its non-airline businesses, AirAsia is positive it will continue to chart stronger growth in the coming months and well into 2021.

“Having one of the world’s lowest operational cost bases and being a leading brand in Asia certainly support our straight and clear path to recovery,” according to Lingam.

AirAsia’s third quarter, 2020 operating statistics showed improvements from every major domestic airline in the group across key metrics versus the preceding quarter.

These include a 36% increase in passengers carried by AirAsia Malaysia, 79% increase in passengers carried by AirAsia India and an increase of 65% of passengers carried by AirAsia Thailand.

Revenue performance improved, with sales across the group up 57% this week versus the preceding week, supported by the latest Super Sale that started the other day ( November 16, 2020).

Sales in Thailand for domestic travel reached 93% of pre-COVID levels. Indonesia’s sales volume shot up 52% and sales value soaring 126% over the past week, as the airline continues to inject more capacity into these markets.

“The general outlook is that air travel will be bouncing back real soon,” Lingam reiterated. “We expect to get back to pre-pandemic levels on many routes across the Group by mid-2021, if not earlier.”

“I am not alone in this prediction. It’s a common view shared by many industry colleagues — that it won’t take very long before mass tourism returns to normal globally,” he underscored.

With a network of over 160 destinations across Asia and the Pacific, AirAsia is well positioned in the aviation travel market to recover faster than many other airlines.

“It is also pertinent to note that globally, the risk of COVID-19 infection when flying is just 1 in 27 million,” Lingam pointed out.

“We can assure that aircraft cabins have now become amongst the cleanest and most hygienic places on earth, presenting an almost zero risk of infection to guests and crew.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported only 44 cases of in-flight transmission of the virus detected among 1.2 billion travellers worldwide.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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