by BERNAMA / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
AirAsia Group Bhd has reiterated that the transaction whereby it secured the aggregate RM300 million loan facilities from Sabah Development Bank (SDB) was completed in accordance with all laws, policies and procedures pertaining to its application.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the budget carrier also said the transaction took five months to complete from the time of application.
The facilities have been approved by SDB for the development of the various projects and are intended to bring about significant positive socio-economic impacts to the state of Sabah, it said.
“With the facilities, AirAsia’s contribution (currently at almost one per cent to the state’s Gross Domestic Product) is expected to double within the next 10 years and help Sabah regain its position as a top tourism destination post-COVID-19,” AirAsia said.
The company said the transaction would, among others, enable AirAsia to accelerate its expansion plans to transform Kota Kinabalu into an international hub for its passenger and logistics operations.
AirAsia said it had been providing domestic and international connectivity to Sabah since 2001, flying in 660,000 visitors to the state and supporting almost 60,000 jobs in the state.
The facilities, it said, would also be used to develop and enhance cold chain facilities in Sabah that would increase the marketability of the state’s fresh produce domestically and internationally through AirAsia’s Ourfarm digital food supply platform.
“This would potentially result in increased profits for farmers and fishermen in the state, which is in line with Sabah’s mission of becoming a top food producing state in Malaysia and contributing towards the country’s food security,” the airline said.
AirAsia’s statement follows various news articles regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating the RM300 million loan facilities given by the Sabah state-owned bank to the airline.
At the close today, shares of AirAsia fell 0.9 per cent to 55 sen.