BANGKOK, April 30 — Low-cost airline AirAsia is mulling the possibility of setting up its Internatioal Headquarters (IHQ) in Thailand as well as building its own airport in the country, said Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
The matter, he said, was discussed when AirAsia’s founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes made a courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha at Government House yesterday.
“He (Fernandes) floated the idea of setting up an IHQ in Thailand as the true gateway of Asean tourism,” the local media quoted Somkid as saying today.
The deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, who was also at the meeting, said the suggestion by the low-cost airline to set up an IHQ in Thailand signalled a return of foreign-investor confidence in the country.
The budget carrier’s owner, he said, also envisaged the consolidation of its subsidiaries in the region and listing the consolidated company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) or seeking a dual listing in Malaysia and Thailand.
Somkid said AirAsia was also ready to work with other carriers in Thailand to connect Asean cities and bring passengers to the country.
In February this year, the deputy premier suggested that national flag carrier Thai Airways consider buying a 20 per cent stake in Thai AirAsia to leverage on the benefits of a budget airline. — Bernama