Rafidah to help AirAsia X achieve lofty goal

(Bernama) – SINGAPORE: Malaysia’s AirAsia X is set to be a leader in the global low-cost, long-haul airline industry, said its newly appointed independent and non-executive chairman, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

“I will try my best to help the Airasia X team realise the goal and vision to be a global leader in the low-cost long-haul airline industry.

“The team has already achieved successes and can build on those as well as expand the business further, particularly, in respect of new profitable routes,” she told Bernama here today.

She also said that on her part, she would assist in resolving, whatever issues that required the Malaysian or other governments to address.

According to an industry source, Rafidah’s appointment is timely as it would surely help in the future growth of AirAsia X, based on her economic background and vast negotiating experience, from her days as the Minister of International Trade and Industry.

“I am upbeat that she (Rafidah) will be able to bring the long-haul budget carrier to greater heights,” he added.

AirAsia X, an affiliate of AirAsia and Asia’s biggest budget carrier by fleet, recently placed an order with Airbus for three A330-200 aircraft, bringing the total to 28.

The order is towards efforts to service its expanding European routes
It now flies to China, Australia, Taiwan, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, France and the United Kingdom.

The airline also announced that plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) this year, is on schedule, although it must first win approval for its route expansion plans from the government.

AirAsia X founder, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes had earlier said that the company could be dual-listed, possibly on a United State bourse as well as on Bursa Malaysia.

The airline also hopes to increase its revenue of RM1.3 billion ringgit last year to RM2.0 billion in 2011. — BERNAMA