AirAsia appears to slash fleet with fewer leased planes, orders

, AirAsia appears to slash fleet with fewer leased planes, orders

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd is seeking to slash dozens of planes from its fleet by returning plane to lessors, Group Chief Government Tony Fernandes mentioned on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Airasia planes are seen parked at Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport 2, amid the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak in Sepang, Malaysia October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

“We’re not going to purchase new planes and we’re going to return as many as we will. I estimate by the top of subsequent 12 months we’ll be flying 180 planes,” Fernandes instructed reporters. The group presently has 245 plane.

He mentioned the group has is already taking a look at returning 22 planes from this 12 months.

Fernandes mentioned AirAsia stays in talks with planemaker Airbus about lowering pending orders.

“I don’t see us getting right into a place the place we need to purchase planes for various years. And even when we need to purchase planes, there’ll most likely be a variety of low cost secondhand planes,” Fernandes mentioned.

The finances service, like different airways, has been hit laborious by journey restrictions because of the pandemic.

This week it shut its Japan operations and its long-haul arm AirAsia X Bhd introduced plans to restructure $15.3 billion of debt.

AirAsia can also be seeking to elevate round $600 million in capital this 12 months, and has thought-about fundraising to fund enlargement of its digital arm.

Fernandes mentioned the group has lately been approached by a U.S. agency providing to lend that enterprise as much as $1 billion.

“I’ve been saying our information may be very beneficial. An American agency has come ahead and mentioned, you understand, we might lend to you primarily based in your information,” Fernandes mentioned, declining to elaborate.

The group has lengthy talked about leveraging its giant consumer information base to increase its enterprise.

AirAsia Digital, its newly rebranded digital arm, homes companies corresponding to journey and life-style platform airasia.com which it launched on Thursday.

Its different companies embrace fintech unit BigPay, logistics unit Teleport, quick meals enterprise Santan and agriculture e-commerce platform OurFarm.

Reporting by Liz Lee, writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Enhancing by Jason Neely and Jan Harvey

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