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Thai AirAsia says planned restructuring will not affect business in Thailand

Flickr/Rattaphol Kerdkaen

Following recent murmurings from AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes that he plans to shift his focus away from aviation, Thai AirAsia has offered assurances that operations in the kingdom will not be affected.

Tassapon Bijleveld from Asia Aviation, holding company of Thai AirAsia, says that although Mr Fernandes has hinted at shifting his attention to other business streams, he will continue to guide the aviation business in the interim.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Tassapon says the restructuring set to take place in Malaysia will create a more consolidated aviation group. He’s confident Thai AirAsia’s operations, and those of Thai AirAsiaX, will not be affected as they operate according to their own individual business plans.

The report goes on to say that the restructuring is expected to position low-cost short-haul carrier AirAsia in the same group as AirAsia X, which operates on medium and long-haul routes.

Earlier this week, Mr Fernandes hinted that his time in aviation may be coming to an end, adding that he was hoping to utilise the low-cost model to focus on other businesses such as healthcare and education.

On Wednesday, Asia Aviation shares closed at 2.6 baht, having briefly dropped to 2.54 baht in the course of the day, the lowest in months. However, Tassapon dismissed any connection with Mr Fernandes’ comments, saying the drop aligned with the global trend and the Thai stock market, which experienced a decrease this week.

According to Tassapon, there is no confirmed timeline for Mr Fernandes to step back, adding that the decision was not made overnight but is something the AirAsia founder has been pondering for the last 5 years. He says he remains confident that even if Mr Fernandes does turn his attention to other businesses, he will continue to have a role supervising AirAsia’s aviation business.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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