AirAsia Group changes name

AirAsia Group changes name


AirAsia Group Berhad, holding firm of budget carrier AirAsia Philippines, announced a name change to Capital A Berhad (Capital A).

"We are not just an airline anymore," CEO Tony Fernandes maintained in a statement, Thursday, Jan. 28. “This is a significant milestone that marks a new era for the Group."

According to Fernandes, the new name reflects the group’s new core business strategy as an investment holding firm with a portfolio of travel and lifestyle businesses, transforming the AirAsia brand into more than just an airline.

“While the airline will always underpin the AirAsia brand, it has long been my intention, well before Covid hit, to leverage the strong data we have built up over 20 years," he explained.

The goal is to incorporate industry-leading new technologies to offer a broad range of products and services, over and above selling just airfares.

"The pandemic has allowed us to accelerate that strategy," Fernandes noted. "We spent the downturn in flying to build a solid foundation for a viable future not reliant on airfares alone."

"The strategy behind the change of name is to introduce a new corporate identity that better reflects the Group’s core businesses today and its future undertakings, in tandem with our rapid transformation from an airline into a one-stop digital travel and lifestyle services group," he elaborated.

"We believe the new company name will also enhance the marketability of our products and boost the success of our Group for the long haul."

“Essentially Capital A is an investment company with a broad portfolio of businesses which all deliver the best value at the lowest cost, supported by strong data built up over two decades," the CEO reiterated.

Just like what the airline has done from day one, all of Capital A's different lines of business will deliver the same strategy - making travel and everyday lifestyle services affordable, accessible and inclusive to all.

“We are now delivering more products and services under one umbrella than any other brand in Asean and with access to over 700 million people in the region," Fernandes disclosed.

"I foresee incredible growth opportunities for our brand across many different industries in all of our core markets."

The group has 16 products and services on its airasia Super App, providing not only flight and travel deals but also everyday lifestyle needs, from food to retail and e-commerce, to same day delivery, ride hailing and much more.

"We are already one of the top three online travel agents (OTAs) in Asean and our super app is on track to become the leading lifestyle app in the region very soon," he predicted.

“All of our portfolio businesses are well on the way to becoming industry leaders in their respective fields across Southeast Asia, including BigPay, our aircraft engineering division Asia Digital Engineering (ADE) and logistics venture Teleport."

Already, Capital A has over 50 million monthly unique visitors on its super app which has been recognized as a tech unicorn in under two years.

Its fintech business, BigPay, has been given a significant injection of USD $100million from South Korea conglomerate SK Group and overall, raised over RM2.5 billion to date through its fundraising strategy.

"Following strong consumer and investor support for our transformation strategy, we now set our sights on further capital raising initiatives for the airasia Super App, Teleport and ADE which will be announced in due course.”

But while Capital A will be the new Group holding company name, "One thing that isn’t changing is the AirAsia brand name for our airlines," Fernandes clarified.

"It’s one of the strongest brands in Asia and provides a solid platform for all of our other products and services to leverage from each other."

Despite 2020 and 2021 being "the most difficult and disrupted years in the history of commercial aviation" Fernandes welcomed 2022 "with much greater confidence".

"Domestic air travel has already started to rebound in our key markets," he underscored.

"While there may be some delays for international flights to return to pre-Covid levels due to the Omicron variant, I believe this will be short-lived as many global health experts are also predicting the world will gradually learn to live with Covid."

For its part, AirAsia Philippines continued to outperform in the last quarter of 2021 doubling the number of seats sold from the third quarter.

In Year on Year (YOY) comparison, capacity increased by 126 percent.

In the 4th Quarter, 2021, the carrier's load factor reached its highest quarterly performance outcome for the year, at 85 percent, jumping by 21 percentage points YoY.

This was achieved from strong pent-up demand in a number of core destinations including Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, and Tacloban.

Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) soared 114 percent YoY to 285 million from 133 million.

"I am hopeful borders will reopen gradually throughout 2022 and we will see a return to normal capacity for our international services by the middle to third quarter of this year," Fernandes concluded.