KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 ― AirAsia will resume operating in stages, starting with domestic flights today and subsequently for several Asean countries by May 16.
AirAsia Group executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the low-cost carrier will begin flying again to Thailand on May 2, Indonesia on May 7, followed by the Philippines on May 16, subject to approval from the authorities.
“Strict health controls and social distancing protocols are in place, in compliance with the regulations. The resumption of services will increase gradually to include international destinations around the region, once the situation improves and governments lift borders and travel restrictions,” he said in a statement.
Kamarudin said AirAsia does not intend to take any new aircraft deliveries this year with the target to end 2020 with 242 aircraft, one aircraft less than compared to last year.
“We are relooking at our orderbook with Airbus, as the decision to sell and lease our aircraft in late 2018 has provided us greater flexibility to scale back growth than owning aircraft today.
“We were also able to lock in the best price for those aircraft at prime market conditions while eliminating the residual risk of owning aircraft,” he said.
Additionally, AirAsia has restructured a major portion of the fuel hedges with its supportive counterparties, and is still in process of restructuring the remaining exposure. Kamarudin said this will help in dealing with the excess of hedged volume against expected fuel consumption post-Covid 19 and reduce the hedging losses if fuel price remains at today’s prices.
“We will require guests to wear a mask and practise universally recommended protective precautionary measures including social distancing and observing high personal hygiene.
“All our aircraft, which are fitted with hospital-standard High Efficiency Particulate Air filters, will also be sent for a thorough disinfection every night stop,” he said.