The AirAsia Group has announced a restructuring that will see AirAsia X operate more independently from the Malaysian carrier, while the long haul affiliate is also aiming to launch an initial public offering during the second half of 2011.
“After more than two years of operation, we have begun to notice some dilution of the AirAsia business model and recognise the need for AirAsia and AirAsia X to remain focused on their respective markets,” said AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes. “Nevertheless, we are extremely pleased with how quickly AirAsia X has grown in the two and a half years since its birth.”
The new arrangement will see AirAsia X take on responsibility for its day to day operations and commercial strategy, although it will continue to use the AirAsia brand and website under a 30 year agreement. Much of the commercial strategy and operations between AirAsia and AirAsia X have been shared despite the two companies operating on different air operators’ certificates.
Although converging with their branding in recent years, AirAsia and AirAsia X are two different companies, with AirAsia X emerging from former regional airline FlyAsianXpress in 2007 to operate long haul services with a fleet of Airbus A330-300s. AirAsia X’s investors include AirAsia, the Virgin Group, Orix and former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton.