AirAsia grounds most of its fleet
AirAsia has announced grounding of most of its fleet around the world due to the spread of coronavirus which has lead to countries closing down border and imposing restrictions. AirAsia Group consists of airlines from Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.
Suspension of flights
AirAsia Group and its fellow low cost long haul arm AirAsia X will ground and suspend most of its aircraft and routes. In a statement AirAsia had said “AirAsia always places the safety and wellbeing of its guests and employees as its top priority. With governments imposing travel and movement restrictions including home quarantine orders, AirAsia is also playing its part in helping curb the spread of the virus in order to keep flying safe for everyone.”
It also states AirAsia will suspend all its international and domestic operations in Malaysia from the 28th of March to 21st April. AirAsia Philippines will suspend its operations from 20th March to the 14th of April.
AirAsia Thailand will suspend its international operations from 22nd March until 25th April though domestic operations could continue at a reduced frequency. Air Asia India will suspend operations from 25th March for 21 days in accordance with the governments order. AirAsia X its long haul arm will suspend most flights from 28th March to 31st May and AirAsia X Thai has suspended operations from 16th March for a period of 3 months.
It also added “We believe this temporary fleet hibernation is the right thing to do to ensure the well-being of our guests and employees, which will remain as the top priority of our business during this challenging time.”
AirAsia Group in a move to cut costs and reduce expenses AirAsia has announced it top management and senior employees have volunteered a salary sacrifice, ranging from 100% at the very top to 15%. It had said this was to minimise the impact on our employees, especially those in junior positions as well as control expenses during these challenging times.
Challenging times ahead
These are definitely challenging times ahead for AirAsia together as a group. Recently it had announced it would delay its delivery of 78 A330 Neo aircraft due to the current market condition and that it was planning to return 5 aircrafts back to its lessors to generate some cash flow. AirAsia was also in the headline due to allegations that Airbus had paid bribes to the airline to win aircraft contracts. In these challenging times ahead for all airlines and not just AirAsia one can all but hope these red birds would be flying soon.