24/04/2024 04:28 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Bernama) -- Capital A Bhd's Aviation Services has expressed interest in acquiring airports across ASEAN as part of its next five-year business plan.

Capital A chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the aviation services arm, which has no shareholding in AirAsia Group, could focus on buying airports as it is a great time to be in the airport business with the current pace of reform seen in the region. 

The Aviation Services, which aims to be ASEAN’s leading one-stop ecosystem of aviation support, is among the five arms under Capital A, namely Aviation Group, Teleport, Move Digital and Capital A International. 

“They (airports) were generally all monopolies but now everyone is selling their airports or bringing in investors.

“I'm sure Capital A Aviation Services will look at the leasing market and maybe buying airports as well.  Personally, I've always wanted to own an airport and I want AirAsia to own its own airport,” he said during a media briefing on the group’s five-year plan today. 

Tony was commenting on Capital A’s plan to invest in new airports or facilities in Thailand following discussions with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin in January, aimed at boosting air travel and positioning Thailand as a regional aviation hub.

On another development regarding SriLankan Airlines, he clarified that AirAsia Consulting, operating under Capital A Aviation Services, has submitted a bid to purchase the airline and will raise its own capital if successful.

“AirAsia is not buying the SriLankan Airlines,” he pointed out.

 Over the last 23 years, he said Capital A has been built up with lot of experience and many airlines seek assistance from the group in establishing low-cost carriers. 

“So, we have created this company called AirAsia Consulting and one of the aims is to potentially take stakes in airlines that are outside of the AirAsia group to create franchise airlines,” he said, adding that it is purely a consulting service. 

AirAsia Consulting is among six bidders for Sri Lanka's state-run carrier, SriLankan Airlines, as part of the nation's efforts to reduce losses incurred by government-owned enterprises under a US$2.9 billion (RM13.8 billion) International Monetary Fund programme.

Its CEO Subashini Silvadas said the bidding process is expected to conclude by August with due diligence to be completed by July.

“We think it is a good deal but at this stage, it is very preliminary for us to provide further information. 

Yesterday, Bernama reported that AirAsia Consulting is planning further engagement with the International Finance Corporation which is mandated to advise the Sri Lanka government on the divestment of SriLankan Airlines Ltd.




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