AirAsia Group (AIRASIA, 5099, mainboard consumer stocks) Chief Executive Tan Sri Toni Fernandez confirmed that AirAsia and AirAsia X (AAX, 5238, mainboard consumer stocks) cut 10% of its 24,000 employees last week.
Tony Fernandez said in an interview on the third TV news program today that the group was forced to lay off its employees because the aviation industry was unable to recover in the short term, and it would also shrink operations later.
Besides, he pointed out that the group will actively return employees to work and provide as many jobs as possible because these outstanding employees have done nothing wrong.
“AirAsia cares about the welfare of our employees. We have built a great company because of our great staff. We will lose some of them even if it is not their fault. So my responsibility is to try to repair this airline and provide them with other jobs.”
In June this year, AirAsia has laid off more than 250 people due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Besides, Tony Fernandes agrees that the government will not inject funds to save any airlines, but he believes that it is necessary to provide loans for this key industry.
“The government has launched the PRIHATIN, which is good and sufficient for us. Also, it is fair because it is not an emergency aid. It is a loan and we must repay the loan.
“It is wrong for anyone to say that PRIHATIN is a bailout. Malaysia Airlines has a major shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Bhd. I think Tengku Zafrul (the Minister of Finance) said that the business must be independent. That’s right.”
Moreover, AirAsia is Malaysia’s second international airline and Asia’s largest low-cost airline. Its main hub airport is Geelong International Airport, the second terminal of the Group’s partner companies, Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia and Philippine AirAsia respectively selected Bangkok Gallery Mann International Airport, Soekarno Hatta International Airport and Clark International Airport are hub airports. The entire group has more than 165 domestic and international scheduled flights in 25 countries. AirAsia is the sponsor of the Malaysian National Football Team, Singapore National Football Team and Queens Park Rangers.
Besides, AirAsia registered in Taiwan under the name “Malaysia AirAsia”. This is because Taiwan has an aircraft maintenance company with the same name.
AirAsia was established in 1993 and began operations on November 18, 1996. On December 2, 2001, Tune Air Sdn Bhd, the private company of former Time Warner manager Tony Fernandez, acquired the heavily indebted airline for 1 ringgit (approximately US$0.26 at the time), together with US$11 million Debt (RM40 million). The company turned losses into profits in 2002, opened several new routes centred on the hub airport in Kuala Lumpur, and attracted passengers at a promotional price of 1 ringgit (US$0.27), eroding the previously dominant Malaysia Airlines market.
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