AirAsia’s regional office to raise RI brand ahead of IPO
Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia Group hopes that the planned establishment of the company’s regional base for ASEAN in Jakarta will help to raise the profile of local unit Indonesia AirAsia before it carries out an initial public offering (IPO) later this year.
“It [the establishment of the new office] is a very good way to help us raise the brand of Indonesia AirAsia, which is heading for a listing on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by the end of the year,” Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) communications manager Audrey Progastama Petriny said.
She said that raising the profile of IAA was very important for the company because Indonesia was home to 240 million people, the largest market in Southeast Asia. Group CEO Tony Fernandes is even expected to move to the newly
established Jakarta office to oversee expansion plans. In the AirAsia Group, IAA would become the second company listed on the stock market after the Malaysia AirAsia, she said.
“Besides, Indonesia is a strategic location in ASEAN to oversee the expansion of AirAsia in the region,” she said.
In addition, one of the reasons for locating the office in Indonesia’s capital city was to help the firm engage more closely with the ASEAN Secretariat, which is headquartered on South Jakarta. ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
She said that AirAsia ASEAN would serve as what they called “the nerve centre” of their regional
It would operate very much alike the Ryanair office in Dublin, Ireland, which served as the strategic planning center of Europe’s largest budget airline, she said. “Shifting our emphasis to a regional strategy is, we believe, not just good business, but also a move that will keep us ahead of the inevitable competition that is heading our way,” she said.
She said that this new office did not mean the airline would relocate its headquarters to Jakarta.
This year alone, the company added five new Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing its fleet to 21 aircraft, to serve more passengers on both established and new routes such as Bandung–Penang, Bandung–Pekanbaru, and Yogyakarta–Denpasar.
She said that the third new A320 aircraft would be delivered from Toulouse, France, next month.
“We will certainly buy more aircraft to increase our fleet next year to help us grab the domestic market as well as strengthen ASEAN connectivity,” she said.
Throughout last year, the airline carried almost 5 million passengers, a 27 percent increase from 3.9 million in 2010.
Meanwhile, in the first quarter of this year, it carried 1.27 million passengers, a 16 percent increase from the 1.09 million in the same period last year.
AirAsia is a Malaysian-based low-cost airline and has been dubbed a pioneer in low-cost travel in Asia.
AirAsia Group currently operates scheduled domestic and international flights to over 400 destinations in 25 countries with its main hub at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Besides Indonesia AirAsia, its affiliate airlines include Malaysia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia, AirAsia Japan, AirAsia Philippines, and AirAsiaX, which offers long haul services from Kuala Lumpur.