Photo credit Kentaro IEMOTO on flickr
The chief of AirAsia Group, Tony Fernandes, is confident that the group will recover quickly as the global Covid-19 vaccine rollout gathers pace.
He was talking prior to the upcoming release of its full year financial results which will highlight how the toughest year for aviation has impacted on income and profits. The group reported an operating loss of MYR1.02 billion (approx £179.9 million / US$252 million) for the quarter ended 30th September 2020.
“I am confident that AirAsia will recover faster than many due to our low-cost model, position in the market and the fast-tracking of our digital transformation to become Asia’s leading travel and lifestyle super app, which has helped to mitigate adverse effects from the Covid-19 pandemic”
“We have been through our fair share of crises in the past including starting out just after 9/11, SARS bird flu epidemics, tsunamis and earthquakes to name a few, but Covid-19 has by far, posed the most challenging situation we have ever experienced. Never before has there been such a restricted global travel environment. After a year of strict cost containment including exiting Japan and reducing our stake in India, finally there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.”Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief
Fernandes went on to say that the airline had spent much of the last year putting in place “rigorous digital initiatives and innovative technologies that would make air travel even safer and more seamless post-Covid-19”.
“Better testing, leisure travel bubbles, anti-veil medicines and importantly, digital health passports providing a single tool for health records across Asean and beyond, are also coming soon, to support the global travel recovery.”Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief
Fernades expects a gradual recovery this year as the vaccine rollout starts to make an impact on increase travel in the region. Malaysia has just received its first doses of covid vaccines and will starts its vaccination programme soon. Other key markets for AirAsia have either started their programmes or are due to before the end of the 1st quarter of 2021.
He expressed hope that the business could return to near-normal pre-pandemic levels within 2 years.
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