AirAsia has been quick to deny reports that CEO Tony Fernandes is preparing to quit the airline.
AirAsia said Fernandesâ€™ statement (reported by Malaysian national news agency, Bernama) â€œwas made only in reference to his aspiration and expectation of the quality of his successor, should he decides to retire in the future".
â€œHowever, our group CEO does not have any plans to relinquish his leadership of the company any time â€˜soonâ€™ as suggested by the article,â€ said the airline spokesman.
Fernandes will be a key player in attempts by Qantas to forge a closer relationship with Malaysia Airlines and launch an ultra-premium airline in southeast Asia.
Air Asia owns 20% of Malaysia Airlines, which has unveiled a business plan to return the group back to the black by 2013.
â€œMalaysia Airlines needs to make hard and unpopular decisions simply to survive in order for it to then have the possibility to thrive and realise the airlineâ€™s vision,â€ said group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
MAS plans to dump loss-making routes, add 23 new aircraft and spin off ancillary businesses.
And by the second half of 2012, MAS will launch a new regional premium airline to connect Malaysia to ASEAN destinations and key cities in South Asia and Greater China, using a fleet of Boeing 737-800s.
â€œWe are also exploring the possibility of joint ventures with partners in order to serve multiple markets together, while reducing the financial risks of going alone,â€ said Ahmad Jauhari. â€¨
One of those partners is believed to be Qantas.
by TravelMole Asia
Friday, December 9, 2011