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AirAsia to sign more JV pacts with regional airlines
SEPANG: Low-cost airline, AirAsia Bhd, will sign five more joint-venture agreements with regional airlines within the next two years to expand its business in the region.
Chief executive officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said the move was in line with AirAsia's ambition to become the leader in the industry.
"The enormous potential in an underserved market of three billion people spread across Asean, North-East Asia and South Asia offers huge opportunity and
AirAsia is ideally positioned to reap huge dividends by serving this market," he said after announcing the set-up the airline's Asean office in Jakarta here today.
AirAsia had signed a joint venture agreement with Japan's All Nippon Airways to form AirAsia Japan, which is expected have its first flight in August.
In line with the company's expansion strategy, he said, the airline was also considering placing an additional order for 50 planes to its existing order of 75 planes, scheduled to be delivered by 2016.
He said the airline might ask Airbus to advance the aircraft to fill the requirements of its operations.
Fernandes said the Asean office, called AirAsia Asean, would focus on the development of its regional operations as well as to bring the airline to a higher level.
The office, which would serve as the 'nerve centre' of its regional operation, would help the airline to engage more closely with the Asean secretariat headquartered in Jakarta, he said.
He said the office would also help raise the profile of AirAsia Indonesia, which was scheduled for listing on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by year-end.
Fernandes said with the establishment of the Asean office, he would leave his post as CEO of Malaysian operation to focus on the regional operation and would announce his replacement on Monday. -- BERNAMA