AirAsia teams up with Everbright to form airline joint venture in China


Malaysian budget airline AirAsia has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Everbright Group and Henan Government Working Group to establish a new low-cost carrier (LCC) in China.

As part the deal, a new joint venture (JV) will be established to operate the proposed LCC.

To be based in Zhengzhou, the new AirAsia (China) JV will also invest in a LCC terminal at the city's airport.

It will also invest in an aviation academy to train pilots, crew and engineers, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities to service aircraft.

"Zhengzhou sits at the centre of a vast rail, highway and air transport network that forms the lynchpin of China’s development plans for its central and western regions."

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said: “We chose Zhengzhou as our base due to its strategic location and importance as a logistics hub.

“As China’s gateway to Europe, Zhengzhou sits at the centre of a vast rail, highway and air transport network that forms the lynchpin of China’s development plans for its central and western regions.

“The Chinese venture represents the final piece of the AirAsia puzzle.”

Since its launch in China in 2005, AirAsia has so far transported more than 40 million passengersin the country. The airline is also the first foreign LCC to enter the Chinese market.

AirAsia has also started exploring the idea of purchasing Comac C919 planes, China’s indigenously made aircraft, reported BBC.

The airline currently has operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Japan.