AirAsia CEO says international travel will bounce back strongly despite omicron impact

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  • According to AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, international travel is likely to recover soon, despite the slow progress by the Omicron version.
  • “I believe we are at the beginning of the end,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.
  • International travel will return to pre-Covid levels about six months after borders reopen, he predicted, adding that he expects borders to start reopening in March.

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According to AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, international travel is likely to recover soon, despite the slow progress by the Omicron version.

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“I believe we are at the beginning of the end,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday, noting that the recovery has already begun.

“The good thing is that this time last year we didn’t have any aircraft. Now, we have a large part of our fleet flying domestic Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia,” he said. Strong.”

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International travel will return to pre-Covid levels about six months after borders reopen, he predicted, and said he expects borders to start reopening in March.

After a flurry of announcements about quarantine-free travel in Asia last year, several countries including Thailand And India reinstated restrictions For some arrival, as O’Micron raised the caseloads.

Fernandes also acknowledged that China remains a “big question” in terms of reopening, noting that the country is still pursuing its zero-Covid policy.

AirAsia’s Ride Healing Service

Separately, Fernandes said the company’s ride hailing business has done “incredibly well” and “exceeded expectations”. Since its launch in August 2021.

He said AirAsia’s strategy is “exactly the same” as it used when the company entered the low-cost airline market years ago – higher efficiency resulting in lower prices for consumers.

As a late entrant, AirAsia Ride could see which models were successful, and didn’t have to spend a lot of money on research, development or technology, he said. This also Acquired part of Indonesian start-up Gojek’s Thailand operations,

“The market is still very, very low,” Fernandes said. “There’s a huge, huge upside.”

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