AirAsia was established in 1993 and began operations on 18 November 1996. It was originally founded by a government - owned conglomerate, DRB-Hicom (Diversified Resources Berhad- The Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia Berhad). On 2 December 2001 the heavily-indebted airline was bought by former Time Warner executive Tony Fernandes' company Tune Air Sdn. Bhd. for the token sum of one ringgit (about USD 0.26 at the time) with USD 11 million (MYR 40 million) worth of debts. Fernandes turned the company around, producing a profit in 2002 and launching new routes from its hub in Kuala Lumpur, undercutting former monopoly operator Malaysia Airlines with promotional fares as low as MYR 1 (USD 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 Thai subsidiary, added Singapore itself to the destination list, and started flights to Indonesia. Flights to Macau began in June 2004, and flights to mainland China (Xiamen) and the Philippines (Manila) in April 2005. Flights to Vietnam and Cambodia followed later in 2005 and to Brunei and Myanmar in 2006, the latter by Thai Airasia. In August 2006, AirAsia took over Malaysia Airlines’ Rural Air Service routes in Sabah and Sarawak, operating under the FlyAsianXpress brand. The routes were subsequently returned to MASwings a year later, citing commercial reasons. AirAsia's CEO Tony Fernandes subsequently unveiled a five-year plan to further enhance its presence in Asia. Under the plan, AirAsia proposes to strengthen and enhance its route network by connecting all the existing cities in the region and expanding further into Vietnam, Indonesia, Southern China (Kunming, Xiamen, Shenzhen) and India. The airline will focus on developing its hubs in Bangkok and Jakarta through its sister companies, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia. With increase frequency and the addition of... [continues]
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