All planes to be flight-ready by March 2023, says Tony Fernandes

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 4): Capital A Bhd expects all of its planes to be serviced and ready to fly by March 2023, said Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

Currently, fleet capacity stands at 50% out of the total of 205 aircraft, he said.

“We think by the end of the year, we will have about 180 planes flying out. Now, we have 100 planes.

“In terms of domestic, we’re almost 80%, while in terms of international, about 35%. We’re now rushing to service all our planes,” he told reporters after the launch of airasia Super App to offer full-time employment to gig delivery riders in Malaysia.

Fernandes also noted that the airline recorded a load factor of 84% in the second quarter, akin to its pre-pandemic levels, signalling that air travel revival is well underway.

On airfares, he said the fares are higher compared to the pre-Covid level, following hikes in oil prices.

“The oil price has doubled. But I believe all prices (airfares) are beginning to come down a little bit. Yes, we do have a surcharge on our fares, as we are following the oil price. Before this, oil price was US$60 (US$1=RM4.46), now around US$120. Previously, it was at US$170,” he shared.

On air travel disruptions due to higher demand, he believes that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has a well-managed plan to handle any issue.

“But there were never any issues at the airport; maybe some of the queues or whatever, but nothing like in Europe,” he said.

Meanwhile, the region’s fastest-growing travel and lifestyle platform, airasia Super App, has become the first in Asia to provide gig riders with full-time employment, as part of its commitment to giving them a better working environment and job stability, while enhancing income opportunities for them.

All airasia food and airasia xpress riders will be employed as full-time employees, effective immediately, enjoying a full suite of Allstar benefits which include Employees Provident Fund, Social Security Organisation, medical coverage that covers their spouses and children, annual leave, travel benefits, and e-coupon schemes.

This is on top of guaranteed income up to RM3,000 monthly, exclusive airasia rider training, as well as free personal accident coverage. Based on performance, riders can also earn extra incentives.

“We don’t believe in contract staff and will now move towards employing all riders as full-time employees, receiving the same benefits that every Allstar receives, on top of the excellent benefits from airasia food and airasia xpress respectively.

“By being full-time employees, they are part of the larger Capital A ecosystem, where they will have opportunities to explore and develop their careers further. From a delivery rider, they can become a cabin crew, pilot, data analyst, digital marketer, part of the corporate office…the possibilities are endless,” he said.

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