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AirAsia Eyes America, Europe And Africa - Ref Malaysiakini



SEPANG, Oct 7 - Low cost carrier AirAsia is eyeing new routes in America, Europe and Africa following its success in establishing operations in 11 Asean countries.

AirAsia Group chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the new routes plan was not an impossible feat and will be profitable for AirAsia in future considering the good passenger growth rate it has recorded in Asean countries such as Indonesia and Thailand.

He, however did not say when the plans will become a reality.

Asked on the passenger growth rate amid the slowdown in world economy, he said it would all depend on how many new planes AirAsia will receive next year.

"Next year, we expect to receive nine new Airbus planes," he told reporters after attending a farewell ceremony for AirAsia's remaining Boeing 737 which made its last flight from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal here today.

He also said that AirAsia was in a strong position to capitalise on whatever the economic situation, adding that air travel will be in business as usual because people needed to travel and that the budget airlines offered the best options currently.

Fernandes refused to comment on the privatisation plans for AirAsia.

At the event today, he also paid tribute to Boeing, saying that AirAsia started off with two Boeing 737s which had rendered them a wonderful service, and got them where they are today.

Replacing the Boeing 737 for the more fuel efficient Airbus A320 is an important step for AirAsia's ongoing efforts to minimise its carbon footprint. In addition, the saving AirAsia makes on fuel consumption will be passed on as low fares to its customers, he added.


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