AirAsia has announced the launch of a new airline in Cambodia, to be called AirAsia Cambodia. The joint venture (JV) with Sivilai Asia is scheduled to take off in late 2023, as the airline is still subject to regulatory approvals.
According to AirAsia, the new carrier in Cambodia was created to “further cement AirAsia’s brand in Cambodia and Indochina, providing AirAsia with greater access to its domestic market and most importantly connecting it to the international markets across Asean, North Asia and beyond”. Established under AirAsia Aviation Group (AAAGL), the new airline should start operations towards the end of next year.
“2022 was about restarting our airline to pre-Covid levels. That machine is in place and will be completed by the second quarter of 2023. The second half of 2023 will be when we focus on our continued efforts in growth,” said Tony Fernandes, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Capital A, the parent company of AAAGL. According to Fernandes, AirAsia is already experienced in the region, and it will be able to “derive quick profitability and connect our very large network to the main points of Cambodia, namely Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville”.
AirAsia growth plans
Though the share split of the newly established company was not clarified, Bo Lingam, CEO of AAAG, stated that “a majority-controlled JV in Cambodia is a natural step for the Group as AAAGL is the largest foreign airline and the second largest airline group overall operating into Cambodia in terms of capacity”.
Having first entered the market in 2005, AAAGL currently operates five routes to and from Cambodia. The airline group has already carried over 10 million passengers on these routes.
AirAsia rebranded to the AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (AAAGL) in February 2022, as the airline-turned-lifestyle-platform sought to reorganize its corporate structure.
Looking further ahead, there are plans to move AirAsia’s airlines into the corporate structure of AirAsia X, the long-haul subsidiary of the group that operates as a separate legal entity.