AirAsia plans to reactivate 200 aircraft by year’s end

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

AirAsia has a comprehensive plan to fully reactivate its 204 aircraft by year’s end. This ambitious endeavor has just received a major boost through a renewed partnership with its long-standing engine provider, CFM International.

A Boost from CFM International

CFM International has emerged as a pivotal partner in supporting AirAsia’s resurgence strategy. One of the key aspects of this partnership is CFM’s commitment to enhancing fleet stability through on-site support and 24/7 virtual monitoring of AirAsia’s LEAP-1A engines.

This commitment is likely to be something a game-changer for AirAsia, providing the necessary catalyst for reinstating its full fleet across the group.

Capital A’s CEO, Tony Fernandes, is optimistic about the future for the major low-cost airline, stating, “After over two years of grappling with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“We’ve made tremendous progress in bringing back our planes and restarting operations. Today, we’ve successfully brought back 175 planes into service. CFM’s unwavering support for fleet stability is a crucial factor in our journey towards full activation.”


Three AirAsia aircraft parked on the tarmac at Perth Airport.
Darren Koch (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), our in-house engineering facility, and all our engineers who have tirelessly worked towards our aircraft reactivation. We eagerly await the fourth-quarter results, where we anticipate the true performance of AirAsia with our full fleet.”

Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation, echoed this sentiment, saying, “We are thrilled with the latest developments involving our engine supplier and service provider.”

“This partnership will not only accelerate our capacity restoration but also make us more efficient than ever before.”

“It paves the way for higher aircraft utilization, reduced downtime, consistent flight schedules, improved on-time performance, and efficient use of spares through our engineering arm, ADE. This aligns perfectly with our commitment to safety, reliability, and operational excellence,” concludes Bo Lingam.

The CFM Advantage

CFM’s strong focus on fleet stability and comprehensive service support is poised to extend the lifespan of AirAsia’s LEAP engine fleet while simultaneously reducing maintenance costs and operational expenses.

Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International, emphasized the importance of this partnership, stating:

“AirAsia has been a valued CFM customer for nearly two decades, and we take their trust in us as a significant responsibility. We are committed to maintaining CFM’s high standards and continue supporting their fleet.”

Charting a Bold Future

AirAsia is now well-positioned to capitalize on this strategic partnership as it embarks on the plan to reinstate its 204-strong fleet.

In recent times, the carrier has moved soundly from strength to strength after the debilitating pandemic years.

The company’s financials took a significant leap in Q2 2023, with an outstanding net profit of RM5.5 million for the quarter; representing a remarkable turnaround from a net loss of RM652.5 million during the same period last year.

In terms of the broader picture, this year’s fleet reactivation is the first major step for the carrier in its longer-term growth plan.

The airline has its sights set on ambitious expansion plans, with aspirations to operate more than 300 aircraft within the next five years.

This expansion will not only solidify AirAsia’s presence within the Asean region but also extend its reach beyond, offering affordable and best-value travel options to passengers.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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