Capital A group chief Tony Fernandes has announced ambitious plans to take AirAsia and its super app public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The group is already a public company listed on Bursa Malaysia, but the CEO wants the low-cost airline to be listed in the US because, “If you want to be an actor, you’re probably going to want to end up in Hollywood at some stage in your career.”
Fernandes said that the group, which was just renamed earlier this year, had already begun with compliance work for two separate listings; one for the AirAsia airliner “sometime next year” and another for its super app following that. The app aggregates all of the company’s offerings and services, including flight and hotel bookings, food and grocery delivery, ride-hailing, parcel delivery, and more.
Apparently, the group previously considered merging its digital businesses using a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) but went into financial difficulties during the pandemic. Fernandes has assured that the issues have been resolved, saying that he is confident the company will be profitable and cash-flow positive in 2023.
AirAsia claimed that it has fulfilled over 99% of refund requests and will settle the rest within the coming months. The group’s long-haul arm, AirAsia X, went through a debt restructuring scheme last year to keep the company from going into bankruptcy. As a result, customers were only given 0.5% of refunds owed for cancelled flights, with possible profit-sharing in the future.
As for its flying capacity, Fernandes revealed that only 85 of the airline’s 212 aircraft are currently in operation while the rest should be flying by December. Its limited fleet during the Hari Raya season led to numerous customers complaining about flight delays, leading to AirAsia refunding affected customers and promising to increase its number of planes to meet high demand.
The CEO also mentioned its partnership with Avolon to lease 100 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which is expected to enhance Capital A’s positive trend. Both companies hope to launch an air taxi platform in Southeast Asia by 2025.
(Source: Financial Times)