Air Asia is hoping that global travel will resume in Malaysia, particularly in some of its main markets, as part of the vaccine rollout.
Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the national roll-out of Covid-19 is the first primary predictor of a global reboot shortly.
“After a year of uncertainty, it’s great to see this extremely challenging chapter finally coming to a close,” he said in a statement today, adding that its key international markets, such as Indonesia, Singapore, China, and Australia, are also progressing well with their vaccination programs.
He said that, by the first quarter of this year, Thailand and the Philippines are also expected to begin vaccination programs.
Fernandes said AirAsia expended the time spent on travel to introduce digital strategies and advanced technology to make aviation more safe and effective after the pandemic.
“Better testing, leisure travel bubbles, anti-veil medicines, and digital health passports providing a single tool for health records across ASEAN and beyond are also coming soon to support global travel recovery.
“I am confident that AirAsia will recover faster than many due to our low-cost model, position in the market, and the fast-tracking of our digital transformation to become Asia’s leading travel and lifestyle super app, which has helped to mitigate adverse effects from the pandemic,” he said.
In raising capital for its companies, Fernandes has stated that the group is moving towards achieving its RM2.5 billion goal through a mix of debt and private equity investments.
“The first tranche of the private placement of up to 20 % of the total issued shares of AirAsia Group Bhd was completed last week, with 11.07% placed out, raising a total of RM250 million.
“We are also working towards obtaining approval for a loan under the Danajamin Prihatin Guarantee Scheme within the next month,” he said.
The government declared last year that the guarantee scheme was one of the measures of the Economic Recovery Package Prihatin that will enable companies to cope with the negative effects of Covid-19.
It consists of a guarantee scheme of RM50 billion covering up to 80% of the loan for working capital funding requirements.
Fernandes said more fundraising support efforts in its main markets were positive for the group's ongoing discussions.
“Other capital raising and financial support measures are being considered, including capital raising for our digital entities. We expect further clarity to be reached on all funding efforts by the end of March,” he said.
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