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AirAsia, AAX suspend flights, ground fleet on Covid-19 hit

26 Mar 2020 / 18:50 H.

PETALING JAYA: In view of the widespread of the Covid-19 pandemic, AirAsia Group Bhd will be suspending all international and domestic flights with flight code AK operated by AirAsia Malaysia from March 28 to April 21, 2020.

Other airlines within the AirAsia Group, namely Philippines AirAsia Inc, Thai AirAsia Co Ltd, PT Indonesia AirAsia and AirAsia (India) Limited have similarly reduced the frequency of their flights, according to the airline’s Bursa filing.

In an effort to further manage and contain costs, both the management and senior employees of AirAsia Group have volunteered a salary sacrifice, ranging from 100% at the very top to 15%.

“This will help ensure that we can ride out this prolonged period of extremely low travel demand and at the same time minimise the impact on our employees, especially those in junior positions,” it said.

AirAsia Philippines temporarily suspended all of its international and domestic flights from March 20 to April 14, 2020. AirAsia Thailand suspended all international flights from March 22 to April 25 while domestic operations continue at a reduced frequency.

AirAsia Indonesia significantly reduced its international flight frequency, but domestic operations continue at a reduced frequency.

AirAsia India also temporarily suspended all flights from March 25 for 21 days, adhering to the government suspension of all domestic flights.

“The board believes this temporary fleet hibernation is the right thing to do to ensure the well-being of our guests and employees, which will remain as the top priority of our business during this challenging time.

“The company will continue to evaluate the situation closely and is prepared to reinstate the services as soon as the situation improves, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals,” it said.

The group said all affected guests are being immediately notified by email and SMS.

“They have the option of converting their flight booking into a credit account that is valid for future redemption for 365 days or moving their flights for an unlimited number of times without any charges to another date prior to Oct 31, 2020.”

Meanwhile, in a separate bourse filing, AirAsia X Bhd said it would temporarily hibernate most of its aircraft at its Kuala Lumpur hub from March 28 to May 31, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that has led to unforeseen extensive and increasing border restrictions by various countries.

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