Air Asia: Introduction

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AirAsia needs no introduction in ASEAN, where it is the leading low-cost carrier, connecting people and places across 132 routes, 40 of which are offered by no other airline. In 2010, the Group, which includes affiliates AirAsia Thailand and AirAsia Indonesia, reinforced its leadership position with two remarkable milestones: flying its 100 millionth guest and breaking the RM1 billion profit barrier. From an airline with two aircraft plying six routes in Malaysia in January 2002, AirAsia has soared in the last nine years to cover 65 destinations in 18 countries. Today, employing more than 8,000 staff and with a market capitalisation of just over RM7.06 billion (as at 31 December 2010), it is the only Truly ASEAN airline, serving the region’s 600 million population from 10 hubs in three countries - Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Penang and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia; Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand; and Jakarta, Bali, Bandung and Surabaya in Indonesia. In 2011, we introduced two hubs, Chiang Mai for AirAsia Thailand and Medan for AirAsia Indonesia. Singapore functions as a virtual hub where AirAsia features among the top 10 airlines in terms of contribution to passenger traffic. Further strengthening its ASEAN network, the Group in December 2010 signed an agreement to establish a Philippine-based low-cost affiliate, which is expected to be operational by end 2011. The quest to democratise air travel began when Tune Air Sdn. Bhd. – founded in 2001 by Dato’ Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Dato’ Pahamin Ab. Rajab, Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun and Dato’ Aziz Bakar - bought over the loss-making, debt-riddled AirAsia from HI COM Holdings Berhad (now DRB-HICOM Berhad) for a token sum of RM1. The enterprising group quickly settled the airline’s debts and set about rebranding and relaunching AirAsia as a low-fare carrier. The Group’s entire business model centres around a low-cost philosophy which requires its operations to be lean, simple and efficient. Several key strategies have been employed...
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