Travelling Light

Picked up for less than a dollar, the region’s first budget carrier AirAsia, skirts around bilateral Air Service Agreements, as it expands no-frills in the region. Picked up for less than a dollar, the region’s first budget carrier AirAsia, skirts around bilateral Air Service Agreements, as it expands no-frills in the region.

In that deal with the Malaysian
government three years ago, were two Boeings, a mountain of debt with a giveaway
airline and one personality.

Grown to a US$ 800 mn airline
in three years and a fleet of 24, the airline is cashing in and making the bucks
in a market where to travel light is to travel cheap.

“Governments like us because we
stimulate traffic by bringing price elasticity into the equation. Previously,
only 0.6 percent of Malaysian’s flew, 1.5 percent of Thai’s and 0.8 percent of
Indonesians,” AirAsia CEO, Tony Fernandes said Thu.

“The geography of Asia really
suits a low cost carrier