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AirAsia boss bullish on growth, eyes China, India

Last Updated: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 22:14

Kuala Lumpur: Asia's biggest budget carrier AirAsia said on Friday it remained bullish on growth for next year despite fears of a global slowdown and was considering setting up future units in China and India.
"Of course we want to be in India and China but all in good time," Chief Executive Tony Fernandes told reporters, a day after the airline celebrated its 10th year under its flambouyant boss.
He said the profit-making, fast-expanding airline was now mapping out a plan for the next 10 years.
"We are 10 years old now. I want to take one step at a time," he said.
AirAsia has become one of the industry's biggest success stories since Fernandes, a former music industry executive, acquired the then-failing company a decade ago.
Fernandes said 2012 would be an "exciting year" for AirAsia with its units Indonesia AirAsia and Thai AirAsia expecting to post profits amid higher growth.
He also expressed confidence with a Philippine unit launched this year and with AirAsia Japan, which is expected to start flying in 2012.
"It (2012) is an exciting year. I am not worried about the economic situation. We have been through many slowdowns. Flying is a necessity. I am bullish about next year," he said.
Fernandes said the airline, which currently flies 89 Airbus A320 aircraft, will expand to 300 planes over the next 10 years.
The airline's 2010 full-year net profit reached 1.07 billion ringgit (USD 340 million), nearly doubling compared with 2009.


First Published: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 22:14
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