Tony Fernandes unveils AirAsia’s expansion plans in Philippines: Logistics, MRO sectors in focus

Malaysia-based Capital A, the investment arm of AirAsia, has revealed its plans to invest in the Philippines, targeting the logistics and aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sectors.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, signified his interest in expanding AirAsia’s presence in the Philippines and contributing to job creation.

Fernandes emphasized the potential of Teleport Philippines, a logistics business, to support e-commerce providers in the local market. Capital A also aims to establish an engineering company, potentially bringing ADE (Asia Digital Engineering) to the Philippines.

ADE specializes in MRO services for commercial aircraft. These strategic investments align with AirAsia’s recovery strategy, which involves strengthening the e-commerce landscape, developing engineering operations, and expanding the airline’s fleet to facilitate domestic and international route expansions.

“Leisure, migration workforce, and SME travel currently comprise pent-up demand for air travel. 80% of AirAsia’s South-East Asia traffic consists of shorter trips and low-cost travel. With this, we’d like to further connect the Philippines to other ASEAN destinations,” Fernandes said.

He also announced the airline’s plans to prioritize recruitment in the upcoming months, aiming to hire an additional 1,000 employees. This move is in line with AirAsia’s expansion strategy and is expected to support its growth over the next three years.

In addition to the job opportunities created by AirAsia Philippines, the introduction of Capital A’s ride-hailing business in the Philippines is also expected to generate around 6,000 jobs.

The recruitment drive signifies the company’s commitment to fostering employment opportunities and contributing to the local economy.

“My priorities were to survive, to bring back people, and recruit more people. Our biggest asset actually is people. People are smart here, people are hard-working, and they have a wonderful personality. So for us, we will grow all four lines of Capital A in the Philippines,” he said.

AirAsia welcomed aspiring cabin crew members last week as part of its recruitment drive. To fulfill the demand for additional cabin crew in the third quarter of 2023, another round of recruitment is scheduled to take place on June 26.

Air France-KLM to buy nearly 20% stake in SAS

Air France-KLM said Tuesday that it had joined an investment consortium to buy nearly 20 percent of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which has been seeking investors in order to exit bankruptcy protection.