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Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 6:21:00 PM
Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 6:23:47 PM
AirAsia GCEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia's growth in the local, Indonesian and Thai aviation industry shows that the airline is still at the top of its game.
"We will continue to grow and increase market share despite competition and be very profitable.
"It's hard to compete with us. I always said in 12 years of press conferences, lowest cost will always win. We are 100% low-cost," AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said on Saturday.
He also said AirAsia was not withdrawing from the Philippines market, but instead aggressively expanding through its new branding with AirAsia Zest.
"I'm a super believer and very bullish about the country. We bought Zest Air and re-branded it into AirAsia Zest. We recorded a day of sales yesterday (Friday), with the new branding," he told a press conference after addressing a plenary session on the final day of the two-day 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit here.
Fernandes was responding to a question whether the low-cost airline's move to suspend its thrice weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Clark Air Base indicated that the budget carrier was withdrawing from the Philippines.
Fernandes said: "In fact, there will be more flights to the Philippines via AirAsia and AirAsia Zest.
"We don't want to spread ourselves too thin. Rather than having two bases, we temporarily moved from Clark and our focus is now in Manila," he said.
Updating on Malaysia's operations, Fernandes said the group would have its best-ever quarter in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"Very load active, yield passive. Analysts talk about yield so much, but we care about revenue per seat," he said.
Fernandes said the group was looking forward to the opening of KLIA2 as it would grow its business more.
He also said AirAsia Thailand was doing superbly well and was going to earn more than Malaysia.
"Indonesia is doing fantastic. We're small boys but we're catching up very, very fast. Our domestic market share grew from 2% to 7%. We're number one in the international market," Fernandes said, adding that AirAsia Indonesia was adding 10 planes this year and another six next year.
Asked on when AirAsia India would start operations, Fernandes said; "I would anticipate maybe April or May next year but I don't really know. I know when we go in, it would be great and change Indian aviation forever".
He said that it was not about when to start but to start right as "there are a lot of things the group is trying to change in India. No point going there and being a disaster," he said.
Citing the example of its earlier Japan venture termed as a "disaster" because its partner did not understand what the group wanted, Fernandes said he was not going to make the same mistake again.
As for Japan, he said, the group would re-enter the market in "not too distant future".
"Things are looking good. We're now choosing which financial partner to work with," he said.
Asked whether the group would fly back to London, Fernandes said there was a huge demand for AirAsia X to re-introduce the London route.
"We've got to be in Europe. There's huge demand for us to fly to London and maybe somewhere else in southern Europe. It's a very important strategic step.
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Aviation, AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit
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