AirAsia continues international expansion by reinstating 4 routes between Thailand and China


Aimed at further boosting tourist arrivals to the Kingdom, AirAsia continues with its international expansion by adding four direct routes between Thailand and China, namely Don Mueang-Chengdu (7 flights a week), Chiang Mai-Beijing (7 flights a week), Chiang Mai-Hangzhou (4 flights a week) and Chiang Mai-Changsha (5 flights a week). The routes are set to take off from 30 April 2023 onward.

Mr. Santisuk Klongchaiya, Chief Executive Officer of Thai AirAsia, pointed out: This is a crucial time for us to focus on international route expansion as more nations are welcoming travelers with eased restrictions and greater convenience, especially in China, which was a major market for AirAsia prior to COVID-19. Set to re-establish its presence in China in a big way, Thai AirAsia expects to resume 75% of its network to China pre-COVID-19 within the second quarter of this year.

Thai AirAsia has successfully recommenced XX direct routes between Thailand and China early this year, receiving a highly positive response from travelers as evidenced by healthy load factors that averages around 90%. With three out of the four new routes originating from its Chiang Mai hub, AirAsia is giving new opportunities for travel with direct flights between China and the popular northern city. The northern province has always been a top destination for Chinese travelers, and the newly reinstated routes will help the regions economy to rebound.

For China, we are aiming to reinstate all of our routes this year. At the same time in other markets, such as Asean and South Asia, we are always looking out for new opportunities and will be introducing an interesting route very soon Mr. Santisuk said.

Thai AirAsia currently serves international flights to 13 countries in 39 destinations on a total 49 routes, supported by clear signs of recovery in the tourism industry. The airline forecasts it will serve 20 million passengers in 2023, up by 9.95 million in 2022.

AirAsia ushers in the Chinese New Year with 100% load for its special extra flight at fixed low fares


AirAsia is ushering in the Chinese New Year with a 100% load for its special extra flights at fixed low fares departing Kuala Lumpur for Kuching at 12.10 am today.

Guests were celebrated with a fanfare at klia2 and the flight was sent off by YB Anthony Loke, Minister of Transport Malaysia and Riad Asmat, CEO of AirAsia Malaysia.

Minister of Transport YB Anthony Loke said: Sending off excited guests to see their loved ones today is indeed a wonderful way to welcome the Chinese New Year. Another round of congratulations and applause are in order for the AirAsia team for its dedication towards making these flights a reality and for its unwavering support for the governments initiative to ensure fares are low and affordable during festive periods. In spite of the challenges faced in the last few years, AirAsia has proven itself to be a peoples airline, putting the needs of its guests first as it gradually resumes its operations.

I look forward to seeing more of such initiatives from AirAsia for the next festive seasons, and implore other industry players to follow suit.

AirAsia Malaysia CEO, Riad Asmat said: People are always at the heart of everything we do and it is truly our mission to enable affordable connectivity for our guests, especially during this special time when many are yearning to balik kampung in time for reunions. Moments like these are the reason why we strive so hard to make the travel dreams of many a possibility.

Whilst we are constrained by the challenges faced by many other airlines in the aviation industry as we emerge from the pandemic, AirAsia is nonetheless committed to ensuring that we continue to provide quality guest experience at affordable fares.

The special extra flights at fixed low fares are for 10 routes between Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and East Malaysia, with 38 flights recording 100% load in the next coming weeks. In addition to 68 special extra flights at fixed low fares, AirAsia Malaysia (AK) also operates 314 flights weekly in conjunction with the festive season.

Guests travelling during the Chinese New Year period are advised to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to their scheduled departure time (for domestic travel) to avoid congestion. Guests are also highly encouraged to self check-in using the airasia Super App, which is available as early as 14 days before the departure date and use the e-Boarding Pass to board the flight.

For guests with baggage to check-in, the Baggage Drop counters close 60 minutes before flight departure for all AirAsia and AirAsia X flights. As congestion is expected at the security scanning, baggage clearance and immigration checkpoints, it is best to complete baggage drop and proceed to the boarding gate as early as possible.

Each guest (except infants) is only allowed ONE piece of cabin baggage AND one laptop bag or handbag or small bag on-board. The total permitted weight for two pieces of unchecked baggage must not weigh more than 7kg in total. All guests are encouraged to pre-book sufficient baggage weight for more savings.

Guests with a group booking, reduced mobility or with special needs should allocate more time to clear all travel formalities. Allstars will be available at the airport to assist all guests with their travelling needs and to ensure a pleasant journey for everyone throughout the festive period.

New and Must-Try from AirAsia! New Japan-inspired delights added to Santan’s inflight menu


AirAsia is welcoming guests traveling for the year-end holiday season with new in-flight menu additions especially for fans of Japanese cuisine – “Chicken Tsukune with Japanese Rice” and “Chamen (Milk Tea Ramen)”, as well as the return of the all-time favorite “Gyoza Osaka Ohsho”. 

As a special promo, all the three items are available in a combo set for only 290 THB. They are also available for purchase individually and guests who purchase the combo set or an individual Chamen will receive an AirAsia Milk Tea Sticker (Limited Edition)* as a special gift. 

Order these tastes of Japan on Thai AirAsia flights from this 1 October 2022 or book any other meal in advance during booking or by using the “Manage My Booking” feature on the airasia Super App.  

Ms Ornanong Methapipattanakul, director of in-flight products and services for AirAsia Thailand, said: “Since the resumption of inflight meal services onboard AirAsia flights, we have been creating new savory and sweet menu items to add to the experience of passengers. With Japan announcing a relaxation of COVID-19 measures and allowing tourists to once again enter the nation, Thai AirAsia has seen a surge in Japanese sentiment for air travel. With our new route from Bangkok-Don Mueang to Fukuoka this 12 October 2022, the new menu additions will surely bring much delight to our guests.

“Our focus for the end-of-year menu was to make travel even more colorful. Guests must try out our Chicken Tsukune with Japanese Rice dish, that  is minced chicken seasoned with authentic Japanese flavors served with a special sauce alongside rice mixed with fragrant bonito fish. Meanwhile, the Chamen drink is an adaptation of our all-time popular Taiwanese milk tea by giving it a Japanese twist using konjac noodles and an egg-shaped jelly to create a truly unique and photogenic drink. A flavorful journey indeed it will be,” Ms Ornanong said.

Other delicious choices available on AirAsia’s Santan inflight menu include “Gyoza Osaka Ohsho” that is selling for 100 THB, “After You Baby Nutella Bun” for 90 THB and many more, Guests can enjoy greater savings when purchasing these inflight meals in advance during booking or by using the Manage My Booking feature on the airasia Super App. Also available onboard and via pre-book purchases are AirAsia merchandise items like the  Christmas Cake Blanket, Sushi Box Diary, Choco Pouch and many more.

*Only 500 AirAsia Milk Tea Stickers (Limited Edition) available. Exclusive to flights departing Don Mueang Airport on 1 October, 2022

AirAsia Group is now Capital A


  • New corporate identity to better reflect the Group’s core businesses and its future undertakings as rapid digital transformation takes shape 
  • Represents exciting new era as more than just an airline

AirAsia Group Berhad has announced a name change for the group holding company to become Capital A Berhad (Capital A or the Group). 

The name change reflects the Group’s new core business strategy as an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses, which have rapidly transformed the AirAsia brand into much more than just an airline. 

CEO of Capital A, Tony Fernandes said: “This is not just about unveiling a new logo. It’s a significant milestone that marks a new era for the Group. Today’s announcement reinforces we are not just an airline anymore. 

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

“Our brand has continuously evolved based on driving innovation and meeting ever changing consumer demand. 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. We believe that the new company name will also further 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. We also have one of Asia’s leading brands to ride on, a strong people-first culture and an underlying promise of remaining committed to serving the underserved in all that we do. Just like what the airline has done from day one, all of our different lines of business will deliver the same strategy that is underscored by doing what we do best – 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, I foresee incredible growth opportunities for our brand across many different industries in all of our core markets.

“We have 16 products and services on our airasia Super App, providing not only the best value 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.

“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.

“We already have over 50 million monthly unique visitors on our super app which has been recognised as a tech unicorn in under two years, our fintech business BigPay, has been given a significant injection of USD $100million from South Korea conglomerate SK Group and overall we have raised over RM2.5 billion to date through our 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.”

On the airline, Tony commented: “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. 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.  

“Even though the last two years have been the most difficult and disrupted years in the history of commercial aviation, I welcome the year ahead with much greater confidence. Domestic air travel has already started to rebound in our key markets. 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, alongside accelerated vaccines and booster shots as well as the world gradually learning to live with Covid. 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. 

“Over the past two years we have spent the downturn in flying building a solid foundation for a viable and successful future, which is not solely reliant on airfares alone. Capital A signals an exciting new era for our airlines and all of our other portfolio businesses within the Group as we embark on a significant new growth phase.

“Importantly, the best is yet to come. We have pivoted, we have transformed and we have a five year plan in place which will see non airline revenues contributing around 50 percent of overall Group revenue by 2026. Once the airlines return to pre-Covid levels in the near future all of our other lines of business will benefit significantly and will all soar to new heights in tandem with one another.”

By 2026 Capital A aims to achieve amongst others:

  • Group airlines connecting over 1 billion people in Asean. 

  • The engineering division (ADE) becomes an industry leader for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in Southeast Asia.

  • airasia Super App to be the super app of choice in Asean.

  • 10 million monthly active users for BigPay.

  • 10% market share in Southeast Asia for Teleport, in the logistics and e-commerce industry.

  • 5 million sign ups for edutech arm AirAsia Academy.

  • Over 21 million monthly orders on airasia grocer.

The new holding company name, Capital A, is immediately effective following the successful registration of the name by the Companies Commision of Malaysia announced on January 3 and the subsequent formal approvals received yesterday. 

The name change from AirAsia Group Berhad to Capital A Berhad will not have any effect on the Company’s ongoing operations. The AirAsia stock name on the main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad will change with immediate effect to reflect the new company name.

About Capital A –

Capital A is an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses that leverage data and technology to deliver the best value at the lowest cost, supported by high quality data and one of Asia’s leading brands that remains committed to serving the underserved.

AirAsia Philippines strengthens chartered repatriation flights

AirAsia Philippines has strengthened its chartered repatriation flights to service more Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are stranded abroad and are eager to be reunited with their families. The timely shift to expand chartered operations comes as restrictions on commercial flights are observed for the duration of the stricter quarantine measures in NCR Plus and other leisure destinations.

For the first time, AirAsia flew to the Indonesian province of Riau to ferry 39 seafarers from Hang Nadim Airport, Batam, Indonesia on Tuesday, 10 August 2021 who safely returned to Manila at around 10:00pm via the return flight Z2 8283. 

Batam-Manila repatriation flights will be mounted on a per request basis from partner manning agencies.

Meanwhile, around 100 Filipino seafarers from Matalla, Sri Lanka arrived via Z2 8160 last week, on 5 August 2021.

While commercial flights are limited due to international border restrictions, AirAsia will continue to fly from  Sri Lanka to Manila every Thursday, as chartered operations.

AirAsia in partnership with shipping and manning agencies have also recently mounted chartered flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia every Saturday to service our OFWs, who are also mostly seafarers.

Aside from flying home our modern day heroes, AirAsia is also assisting other nationals through weekly flights to Canton (Guangzhou), China for Chinese residents.

AirAsia Philippines Spokesperson Steve Dailisan said, “AirAsia Philippines has always been a staunch partner of the government and the private sector in ensuring the safe return of our OFWs. We are happy to be there for our seafarers who need to change ships and schedules and be home with their families in these very challenging times.

“These chartered repatriation flights go both ways, allowing us to realize other revenue streams such as cargo, while being of service to our Kababayans,” he added.

Veteran seafarers Joel Linobo Jr. and John Vincent Ignacio who were among the passengers of the Batam flight (Z2 8283) thanked AirAsia for the safe journey back home.  

Ignacio who lost his father due to COVID-19 last May was grateful that after two months of waiting, he will finally be reunited with his family again. Most of the seafarers who were supposed to go back to the Philippines earlier had a difficult time getting a confirmed schedule, as some of the ports they’ve been to, such as Pakistan were included in the Philippine government’s recent travel ban.

Since last year, AirAsia has mounted 600 chartered repatriation and sweeper flights from Palau, India, Indonesia and Myanmar, bringing home almost 50,000 OFWs. 

AirAsia is also providing special OWWA flights for OFWs who will be returning to their provinces after completion of their 14-day quarantine at a local health facility.