AirAsia X shuffles management, to raise capital

Loss-making AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia, on Friday shuffled its leadership and announced plans to raise 395 million ringgit ($108 million) to shore up its bottom line.

AirAsia X shuffles management, to raise capital

Loss-making AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia, on Friday shuffled its leadership and announced plans to raise 395 million ringgit ($108 million) to shore up its bottom line.

CEO Azran Osman Rani will leave and be replaced by Kamarudin Meranun, previously an executive chairman, the airline said in a statement.

The changes were part of a "reorganisational and turnaround exercise" for the company, it said.

AirAsia X, which operates Airbus A330s mainly on routes from Malaysia to Australia, China and Japan, posted a net loss of 210.9 million ringgit ($58 million) for the three months to September last year.

It was its worst quarterly loss since listing its shares in July 2013 and fourth straight quarter in the red.

Business has been hurt by a demand slowdown due in part to a fall in Chinese travellers to Malaysia following the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 last March 8, which tarnished the country`s image in China.

Australian routes, meanwhile, have been hit by fierce fare wars.

"It is part of a move to overhaul the company to raise much-needed funds and return to profit," Shukor Yusof, founder of aviation research firm Endau Analytics, told AFP.

He said operating a low-cost, long-haul business was "tricky" due to the high costs of longer routes and stiff competition from established carriers.

But he added AirAsia X was buffered somewhat by its ability to plug into the AirAsia group`s regional route network.

AirAsia X shares have fallen 48 percent from their initial public offer in 2013.

The AirAsia group has been rocked by the crash last month of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 in the Java Sea, which killed all 162 people aboard. The reason for the crash remains unclear.

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