AirAsia Group is serious about entering the Cambodian market after failing to reach an agreement to establish a partnership with Vietnamese airlines.
AirAsia's chief executive officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said that as an ASEAN airline, it has always wanted to grow in the regional market despite acknowledging that the business is complex and always gaining national attention.
“We are an ASEAN airline and we want to (grow) in the region. We are already in India and it is a pride to be in China.
"About Cambodia, I really like this country. The Cambodian aviation industry market has a huge potential to grow, ”he said after a plenary session organized by the Obama Foundation: Asia Pacific 2019 leadership.
According to a recent Nikkei Asian Review report, after three failed attempts to establish an affiliate in Vietnam earlier this year, AirAsia shifted its focus to other countries in the region.
One of the reasons for the failure of the company to enter the Vietnamese market is the difficulty of finding the best partners and the presence of many airlines in the country.
Recognizing the potential that Cambodia has in the air travel industry, the low-cost carrier is looking to expand into Cambodia through cooperation with local participants.
Citing the Nikkei Asia report, Cambodia is one of three Asian countries that has been the focus of AirAsia's expansion, in addition to Myanmar and China.
Asked when the expectation of the partnership would be finalized, Tony said: "Wait and see."
Tony was among the panelists invited to share his experience as a successful entrepreneur in the region with the theme 'Entrepreneurship: Working towards a Goal'.
Two other panelists are Indonesia's JAVARA founder Helianti Hilman and former New Zealand professional footballer Tim Brown.
The Obama Foundation's five-day Leadership Program brings together 200 leaders from 33 Asia Pacific countries to share their views on the region's potential.
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