Cambodian launch postponed: AirAsia mulls new airline in Southeast Asia

AirAsia, the Malaysian low-cost airline, has announced that its fifth airline unit in Cambodia, which was initially planned to begin operations by the end of 2023, will now commence operations in mid-2024. Though the reasons for the delay in launching operations haven't been disclosed by the airline or the AirAsia group, it is expected that the new carrier will start flying soon and will cater to the growing demand for air travel in the region.


AirAsia has expressed interest in expanding its operations to India and China, leveraging the strong demand and visa-free arrangements. The group has previously talked about introducing new units in Southeast Asia, and it plans to focus on Southeast Asian countries. Capital A chief Tony Fernandes mentioned in February 2023 that the group was considering launching at least two more airlines in the region, and more details will emerge by the end of 2024.

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AirAsia holds a 51% shareholding in the new Cambodian carrier, while Sivilai Asia accounts for the remaining 49%. The airline group is also considering launching another carrier in Southeast Asia, but it has not mentioned where it intends to base it. In a bid to attract travelers from China and India, Malaysia and Thailand eased visa requirements for visitors from the two countries in 2023. AirAsia has been optimistic about rebuilding its capacity in Mainland China following the relaxation of 'zero-Covid' restrictions.


The AirAsia group reported a positive full-year EBITDA of MYR1.8 billion ($381 million) and an EBITDA of MYR504 million, a 25% YoY increase, in the quarter ended 31 December. The group's revenue has been growing despite the pandemic, and it has been able to maintain its position as one of the leading low-cost airlines in Asia.

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