Quick Airline Information:

✈Airline IATA* code: AK
✈Airline ICAO* code: AXM                        
✈Founded:  20 November 1993    
✈Website: Airasia.com
✈Alliance: none
Operations and Destinations 🌍
Fleet ✈️
Photo Slide 📷
Safety Video 🎬
Airline reviews 
*IATA: (International Air Transport Association)
*ICAO: (International Civil Aviation Organization)

History Menu:

✈Airline Beginnings

Airasia is a Malaysian multinational low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the largest airline in Malaysia by fleet size and destinations.

AirAsia has consistently been named as the world's best low-cost carrier for 11 years by Skytrax in a row in international travel and airline awards. However it's not been plane sailing for this big airline. Let's see how it all begun.

AirAsia was established in 1993 and began operations on 18 November 1996. It was founded then by a government-owned conglomerate, DRB-HICOM. The airline started with cargo operation with leased B737-200C and went on to operate the passenger versions with Boeing 737-300.

Before the airline was owned by Toni Fernandes, It was founded then by a government-owned conglomerate, DRB-HICOM, with very different logo and colours. (Photo: Jetphotos.net)

On 8 September 2001, the heavily indebted airline was bought by executive Tony Fernandes and for the token sum of one ringgit (about US$0.26 at the time) with US$11 million (MYR 40 million) worth of debts.
The partners turned the company around, producing a profit in 2002 and launching new routes from its hub in Kuala Lumpur, undercutting former monopoly operator Malaysia Airlines with promotional fares as low as MYR 1 (US$0.27). In 2003, AirAsia opened a second hub at Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru and launched its first international flight to Bangkok.

Initial early aircraft included this Boeing 737-300 which the airline operated until 2003. (Photo: Wikipedia.com)
✈Expansion and Development

As the airline got stronger, AirAsia subsequently started its Thai AirAsia affiliate and began flights to Singapore and Indonesia. Flights to Macau started in June 2004, and flights to mainland China (Xiamen) and the Philippines (Manila) in April 2005. Flights to Vietnam and Cambodia followed in 2005 and to Brunei and Myanmar in 2006, the latter by Thai AirAsia. In August 2006, AirAsia took over Malaysia Airlines's Rural Air Service routes in Sabah and Sarawak, operating under the FlyAsianXpress brand. The routes were returned to MASwings a year later, citing commercial reasons.

At the end of 2006, Fernandes unveiled a five-year plan to further enhance AirAsia's presence in Asia. Under the plan, AirAsia proposed enhancing its route network by connecting all of its existing destinations throughout the region and expanding further into Vietnam, Indonesia, Southern China (Kunming, Xiamen, Shenzhen) and India. Through its sister companies, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, the plan called for a focus on developing its hub in Bangkok and Jakarta. With increased frequency and the addition of new routes.

The Airline's first A320 was delivered in 2005, which become the main working horse for the airline since then. (Photo: Jetphotos.net)

AirAsia X  started operations on the 17 May 2007. It is the long-haul operation of AirAsia. On 17 May 2007, Tony Fernandes announced plans to commence flights from Malaysia to Australia.  On 14 May 2007, AirAsia confirmed that it had ordered 15 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, five more than initially announced. The aircraft were scheduled for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2008. Later, on 27 March 2008, AirAsia signed a firm contract for another 10 Airbus A330-300s bringing the airline's total order to 25.
AirAsia X received its first A330 on 31 October 2008 in Toulouse, France. 

On 27 September 2008, the company announced 106 new routes to be added to its list of 60. In August 2011, AirAsia agreed to form an alliance with Malaysia Airlines by means of a share swap. The alliance was struck down by the Malaysian government, in effect voiding the agreement of both airlines.

By early 2013, AirAsia's profits increased by 168% on a year-over-year basis compared to the same period in 2012. In February 2013, AirAsia submitted an application to the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board, through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment Limited, to seek approval for commencing its operations in India. AirAsia asked to take a 49% stake in the Indian sister airline, which was the maximum allowed by the Indian government at that time. AirAsia committed to investing up to US$50 million in the new airline. Operations would begin in Chennai, expanding its network throughout South India, where AirAsia already operates flights from Malaysia and Thailand.

Until the mid-2010s, Air Asia X operated Airbus A340-300 jets, capable of ultra-long haul journeys. These aircraft were used for scheduled trips to the UK, namely London Heathrow, London Stansted and Manchester Airport. In February 2018,the airline was looking at the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for fleet expansion. However, this was never materialised.

In 2009 Air Asia X introduced the first A340-300 for long haul operations. (Photo: airpics.net)
The A330-300 now forms part of the long route flights which started flying in 2008 for Air Asia X. (Photo: Jetphotos.net)
✈Recent History and Growth

n April 2018, AirAsia X cancelled their 10 A350-900 order that they ordered in 2009 due to higher prices on the aircraft, the airline have expressed interest on ordering the Boeing 787-10 and a decision will be made later in 2018.

The A320Neo joined in September 2016 as it started to retire older jets and further expand services. (Photo: planespotters.net)
To complement it's medium haul aircraft Air Asia introduced the A321Neo from 2019. (Photo: planespotters.net).

In March 2020, AirAsia X announced the delay of delivery of the airline's Airbus A330-900 aircraft indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, in November 2020 AirAsia did not complete the purchase of six already specifically built Airbus A320neo aircraft. This was as a result of the coronavirus crisis as well.

In September 2021, Airbus agreed to cut prices to salvage a ten billion dollars contract with the flight carrier, restarting the relationship between both partners. After the pandemic begun to ease off, in October 2021, AirAsia restarted international flights after the Malaysian government lifted travel restrictions.

On January 3, 2022, AirAsia proposed its corporate name change to Capital A, which subject to shareholders' approval. On January 28, 2022, the company changed its corporate name from AirAsia Group Bhd to Capital A Bhd to reflect its expansion of business portfolio beyond the core budget airline. However, its airline business continued to use the AirAsia brand, yet with a more modern logo and markings which yet have to be applied to the extensive fleet of aircraft.

The A330-900 new engine option is the newest aircraft for Air Asia, deployed on routes to Australia mainly and high density routes. (Photo: planespotters.net)

Operations and Destinations 🌍:

AirAsia operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations spanning 25 countries. Its main base is klia2, the low-cost carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Its affiliate airlines are Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia, and AirAsia India which have bases in Bangkok–Don Mueang, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Manila–Ninoy Aquino, and Bangalore–Kempegowda airports respectively, while its sister airline, AirAsia X, focuses on long-haul routes.

AirAsia's head office is at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The airline operates with the world's lowest unit cost of US$0.023 per available seat kilometre. This makes it ultra competitive in the Asian market and has strong potential growth plans as it takes on the recent challenges in the years ahead. 

Below are the destinations served by the Air Asia group which consists of all the offshoots, including the long haul division Air Asia X:

Region 🗺️ Destinations 🌍🌎🌏
✈Asia (except China, India and Bangladesh)Alor Setar, Bacolod, Banda Aceh, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bandung, Bangkok, Bangkok, Bintulu, Buriram, Busan, Cagayan de Oro, Can Tho, Caticlan, Cebu, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chumphon, Clark, Colombo, Da Lat, Da Nang, Davao, Denpasar, Fukuoka, General Santos, Hanoi, Hat Yai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hua Hin, Iloilo, Ipoh, Jakarta, Jeju, Johor Bahru, Kalibo, Kaohsiung, Khon Kaen, Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kuching, Labuan, Labuan Bajo, Langkawi, Loei, Lombok, Luang Prabang, Macau, Majalengka, Makassar, Malé, Mandalay, Manila, Medan, Melaka, Miri, Nagoya, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nha Trang, Okinawa, Osaka, Padang, Palembang, Pattaya, Pekanbaru, Penang, Phitsanulok, Phnom Penh, Phu Quoc, Phuket, Pontianak, Puerto Princesa, Ranong, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Sandakan, Sapporo, Semarang, Seoul, Siborong-Borong, Sibu, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Singapore, Solo, Sorong, Surabaya, Surat Thani, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Taipei, Tanjung Pandan, Tawau, Tokyo, Tokyo, Trang, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Vientiane, Yangon, Yogyakarta, Zamboanga
✈China, India and BangladeshBeijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Kunming, Lanzhou, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Quanzhou, Sanya, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xi'an
Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Ranchi, Srinagar, Surat, Tiruchirapalli, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam
✈USA Honolulu
Australia and PacificGold Coast, Melbourne/Geelong, Perth, Sydney

*Destination list is for reference only. Please check directly with the airline for updates. 

*Note some destinations are only seasonal.*Correct info as of Feb 2022                       

Fleet ✈️:

The airline relies entirely on Airbus products for all it's flights. For short and medium routes predominantly it uses its A320 and the newer A320neo and A321neo coming into line in the next few years after placing a huge order with Airbus to renew it's fleet.  It's long haul aircraft comprises the A330-300, which is uses for it's Australian and heavy intra-Asian international routes, in addition to newly arrived A330-900.

Below you can find the current fleet of Air Asia:

Network 🌐 Aircraft ✈️
✈Short and Medium HaulA320, A320neo, A321neo
✈Long Haul (Air AsiaX) A330-300, A330-900
*Correct fleet info as of  Feb 2022.

Air Asia Photo Slide 📷:​

Reviews ⭐:

✅ Route network in South East Asia and India👎 Must pay for all add ons
✅ Competitive prices👎 No code-share agreements with other airlines.
✅ New planes arriving and a modern fleet.👎 if a flight is cancelled. Hard to get a refund.
✅ Easy APP to use
✅ Comfortable seats.