SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Capital A Berhad, parent of Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, expects to see the carrier’s operations returning to pre-pandemic levels by December, Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes told Reuters on Monday.
The target indicates a slight delay from his earlier forecast of putting all 204 of its fleet back in service by August.
“We’ll never have 204 (planes fully operating) because we always have some planes (in) maintenance…For me to get back to 190 planes operational is pre-COVID,” Fernandes told Reuters on the sidelines of the Forbes Global CEO conference in Singapore.
He said AirAsia’s operating level stood at between 50% and 60% in the first half and it was expected to have about 190 planes back in service by the final quarter of this year.
Fernandes did not elaborate on the delay, but said drivers for capacity growth included improving demand from migrating workforce, tourism, students and connecting travellers.
(Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman)