AirAsia's China ambitions suffer a blow


China blues: The collapsed deal would mean China remains a crucial missing piece for AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, who has been expanding in the region with affiliates in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Japan and Vietnam to tap an aviation boom. — AFP

SINGAPORE: AirAsia Group Bhd’s planned foray into China for a wider regional footprint suffered a setback after South-East Asia’s largest budget airline failed to secure a deal with its local partners to tap the world’s second biggest aviation market.

A preliminary agreement signed last year for a venture with China Everbright Group and the Henan government has lapsed and won’t be extended, AirAsia said in a filing on late Thursday, without providing further details. A spokesman for the low-cost airline didn’t immediately respond to an email sent Friday, a national holiday. The collapsed deal would mean China remains a crucial missing piece for AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, who has been expanding in the region with affiliates in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Japan and Vietnam to tap an aviation boom.

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