AirAsia: The Sky’s the Limit
Low-cost carriers (LCCs) provide an alternative for price-sensitive business and leisure travelers to maintain their travel plans at lower cost. AirAsia, Asia’s leading airline, was established with the dream of making air travel possible for everyone and it is now one of the world’s best low-cost airlines.
AirAsia was the first airline in Asia to introduce the budget, nofrills airline concept. It was founded in 2001 by CEO Tony Fernandes and this three partners when their company, Tune Asia Sdn Bhd, bought the fledging AirAsia, a Malaysian government-linked airline. Since then, the growth of this LCC has been the envy of many. It started with two old Boeing 737s serving the domestic market in Malaysia. Today it is a publicly listed company boasting a large fleet of aircrafts flying to over 61 domestic and international destinations. It flies 108 routes and operates over 400 flights daily from hubs located in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. AirAsia is widely known as the “Ryanair” of the Far East as it focuses on providing convenient and affordable air travel for the mass middle-cless market.
In 2001, the domestic market was dominated by the national carrier, Malaysia Airline System ( MAS), whose high prices created a pent-up demand for low-cost air travel. AirAsia offered savings of up to 60 percent compared to MAS’ prices, and indeed, the company’s tagline, “ Now everyone can fly, “ truly reflects the company’s promise to its customers.
The airline launched during a turbulent period when people were hesistant to travel due to the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks. People concerned about long-distance travel started to look for holidays in nearby countries. The timing worked to the advantage of AirAsia when it started to fly regional routes. Asians were enjoying the benefits of rising incomes and good economic growth and although many could not afford long-distance holidays, they were open to the idea...
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