AirAsia suspends more flights on Covid-19
AirAsia

The suspension of the local LCC’s international and domestic destinations will begin today until April 21

by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

AIRASIA Group Bhd said it is temporarily suspending most of its fleet across the network, including AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) and Thai AirAsia X due to extensive and increasing border restrictions imposed by various countries caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension of AirAsia’s international and domestic destinations will begin today until April 21, the company said in a statement yesterday.

“With governments imposing travel and movement restrictions including home quarantine orders, AirAsia is also playing its part in helping curb the spread of the virus in order to keep flying safe for everyone,” the company said.

Malaysia has already closed its border to foreigners after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a two-week Movement Control Order since March 18.

Subsequently, the order has been extended to April 14, 2020, as the government intensified the effort to contain the pandemic from spreading in the local community.

AirAsia said the management will continue to evaluate the situation and is prepared to reinstate its services as soon as the situation improves.

“This is also subject to necessary regulatory approvals,” it added.

All fleets from the Philippines and India divisions have been put into hibernation since last week, while its Thailand division is currently operating at a reduced frequency.

The Philippines division is expected to resume operation on April 14, while the India branch which was suspended since March 25 will only be granted to fly after 21 days, subject to the local authority’s approval.

For the group’s medium- and long-haul flights operated by AAX, only a few flights will remain operation, while most of the sectors’ operation will be halted until May 31, 2020.

Meanwhile, AAX flights operations in Thailand have been suspended since March 16 for a period of three months, the company said.

The Thailand’s long-haul suspension is applicable until April 19, 2020.

AirAsia said all affected guests have been promptly notified via email and SMS.

“They have the options of coverting their flight booking into credit account that is valid for future redemption within 365 days, or changing their flight booking for an unlimited number of times without any charges to another date prior to Oct 31, 2020,” AirAsia said.

“We believe this temporary fleet hibernation is the right thing to do to ensure the wellbeing of our guests and employees, which will remain as the top priority of our business during this challenging time,” the local low-cost carrier (LCC) added.