AirAsia Named Best Low-Cost Carrier in Asia 2024

A line-up of parked AirAsia Airbus A320s.
Photo Credit: AirAsia

AirAsia Group, including its medium-haul affiliates AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia X, has been crowned the Top Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) in Asia for 2024.

The recognition was accorded by at their annual Airline Excellence Awards.

This remarkable achievement marks the culmination of a phenomenal journey for AirAsia. The airline was originally founded in 2001 by Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Tony Fernandes with a mere two aircraft.

Since then, the airline has experienced phenomenal growth over the past two decades. From its humble beginnings in Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia has become a dominant force in the Asian aviation industry. The airline is undoubtedly one of the region’s greatest success stories.

Re-defining the Low-Cost Sector

AirAsia has navigated a challenging landscape, overcoming numerous external crises and adapting to diverse regulations and competitive pressures.

They defied policies favoring national carriers, democratizing air travel and reshaping the low-cost carrier scene across ASEAN and beyond.

Today, AirAsia operates as a full-fledged airline group with bases in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia.

AirAsia and its affiliates have revolutionized the airline industry in Asia and beyond. Their fleet boasts over 255 aircraft serving more than 165 destinations. Editor-in-Chief, Geoffrey Thomas, hailed the win as “richly deserved.” He commended the leadership of Tony Fernandes and his team. This included Group CEO Bo Lingam and AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail.

Thomas acknowledged their exceptional guidance in propelling the airlines to market dominance.

“These airlines have made travel accessible and affordable for nearly 800 million passengers across Asia and the Asia Pacific,” Mr. Thomas said. “This offers exceptional value and a fantastic travel experience.”

An AirAsia Airbus parked on the tarmac.
Aldo Bidini (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

AirAsia: Emergence from Global Crisis

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A and Strategic Advisor to the AirAsia Aviation Group, reflected on the company’s incredible journey of recovery. The airline group has emerged stronger from the worst commercial aviation crisis ever witnessed.

“We are incredibly grateful and humbled by this award,” Mr. Fernandes expressed. “This recognition belongs to all our airline CEOs, senior team members, and the countless ‘Allstars’. They have consistently exceeded expectations, bringing us to this point.”

He elaborated on AirAsia’s plans for the future, emphasizing their commitment to significant growth and expansion to new continents.

Capital A is proposing a game-changing divestment of the AirAsia Aviation Group to AirAsia X.

It promises even more high-quality, low-cost travel options across short, medium, and long-haul routes. This will essentially connect Asia and the Asia Pacific region to the world at the best possible prices.

Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group, reiterated AirAsia’s dedication to pushing boundaries in the low-cost carrier segment. “Low cost doesn’t equate to low service for our airlines,” he emphasized.

“As travel demand rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, we have over 400 new, state-of-the-art aircraft on order to fuel our ambitious growth plans, including exciting new destinations.”

“We are committed to providing our guests with ever-greater value and choice, not just within Asia but across the globe.”

Recognition of a Team Effort

This well-deserved award serves as a further testament to the continued dedication and resilience of the entire AirAsia team.

The recognition from acknowledges their unwavering commitment to operational excellence across all aspects of their business.

Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X, echoed these sentiments. He acknowledged the award as being as a strong validation of the team’s hard work.

“We’re not just surviving the pandemic’s aftermath, we’re coming back stronger than ever,” he declared.

Looking ahead, AirAsia X anticipates exciting opportunities arising from the synergies between Capital A and the AirAsia Aviation Group.

This collaboration will unlock new possibilities for travelers to experience their brand of value and smart flying across numerous medium and long-haul markets.

Their “one airline strategy” positions them as a formidable force, aiming to become the leading low-cost global network carrier connecting Asia to the world.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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