Low-cost long-haul carrier AirAsia X (AAX) has partnered with GEODIS to increase cargo capacity in Asia-Pacific, a move that is seen as beneficial during the slowdown in commercial aviation.
Under the agreement between the carrier and the logistics company, AXX will provide scheduled cargo flights between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, Chennai, Shanghai and Sydney. The deal is set to run for half a year beginning January 20, 2022.
“Air cargo rates will continue to remain robust as long as planes remain grounded. We intend to capitalize on this opportunity for as long as it lasts,” CEO of AirAsia X Malaysia, Benyamin Ismail announced in a statement.
Ismail added: “Cargo revenues were four per cent of our total revenues pre-Covid. It has been our lifeline over the past two years. We expect that our cargo operations moving forward will contribute at least 40 to 50 per cent of our total revenue.”
For the airline, which has recently exited restructuring, this new deal will provide better “certainty on utilization of planes and better visibility of earnings”. AirAsia X has a fleet of 17 Airbus A330 aircraft, according to Planespotters.net.
In November 2021, AirAsia X creditors voted to approve the carrier’s restructuring plan.
99% of AAX creditors across three groups voted to approve the carrier’s restructuring plan, which includes repaying 0.5% of its 33.65 billion Malaysian ringgit ($8.1 billion) debt owed to its creditors and ending its existing contracts.
The long-haul subsidiary of AirAsia Group, AAX first announced its debt restructuring scheme as a measure to escape liquidation in October 2020.