Fernandes: AirAsia exploring options on Japan operation

by BERNAMA / pic by ARIF KARTONO

AIRASIA Group Bhd CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes said the low-cost airline is open to exploring all options with regard to its operation in Japan, including closing it down.

“We have to look at every option, including closing down the operation. We haven’t reached a decision yet,” he said when asked to comment on recent reports which stated that the group was planning to discontinue the operation of its affiliate, AirAsia Japan, as demand remained weak due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fernandes said this to reporters after Redbeat Academy Sdn Bhd’s launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

On the termination of AirAsia’s flights from Malaysia to Japan, he said it was merely speculative and the board had not made a decision.

He added that currently the airline is unable to fly to Japan due to the international border shutdown, and since its presence is relatively small in Japan, the board is currently evaluating all possibilities, including the cessation of its flights to the country.

Meanwhile, during the event, Fernandes said the academy was initially established in the belief that the digitalisation of its airline operations may lead to many of its staff being left redundant.

“Hence, we have Redbeat Academy. But now, of course, we are in a position where the airline has to make retrenchments, and it’s unavoidable. And many of them, hopefully, will come here (Redbeat) and re-skill themselves as well,” he added.