AirAsia, Asia’s biggest low-cost carrier, has revised its fleet-expansion plan from 200 aircraft to 375 over the next five years to serve growing air travel in the Asean market.
It attributes the region’s economic prosperity – driven by the launch of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 – to this need for more aircraft.
Currently, there are 105 aircraft in its fleet, including AirAsia X brand, flying long-haul flights from its head office base in Kuala Lumpur to Japan, Australia, Nepal and South Korea.
Thailand is Asean’s second-biggest market for AirAsia behind Malaysia. Thai AirAsia plans to increase its fleet with eight new aircraft annually over the next five years, up from six under the previous plan. Currently, it flies 24 aircraft and its number will increase to 27 by the end of this year.
Tassapon Bijleveld, Thai AirAsia’s chief executive officer, said Thailand continued to offer solid potential for the future, with the possibility of 100 aircraft in its fleet. Small cities across the nation such as Nan and Loei have shown special business opportunities. At present, its airline flies only from key destinations.
Under its fleet expansion in Thailand, it will create 800-900 new staff positions annually including pilots, technicians and ground service staff. Currently, 3,000 employees work with…