Air Transport World

AirAsia.(Asia/Pacific)(Brief Article)

Launched in 1996 touting fares slightly cheaper than Malaysia Airlines, the carrier suffered years of losses. Just three days before 9/11, a group led by Tony Fernandes acquired for a nominal 1 ringgit the airline, two jets and liabilities of 40 million ringgit ($10.5 million). Adopting the low-cost model, AirAsia was relaunched in January 2002 with three aircraft and seat-mile costs half those of MAS.

The airline operates some 364 weekly roundtrips to 14 destinations in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore with 148-seat 737-300s. Currently, 55% of bookings are made online, an extraordinary number considering that only 20% of Malaysians use the Internet. …

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