‘Nothing to announce’, says AirAsia after reported closure of Japan operations

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes had said the airline was evaluating its operations in Japan. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: Low-cost airline AirAsia Bhd has dismissed a report that AirAsia Japan intends on shutting down its operations there because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A spokesman for AirAsia said there was nothing for the airline to announce at this point in time, adding that it does not comment on speculation.

“We have a strict policy of not commenting on rumours or speculation. There is nothing to announce at this time,” the spokesman told FMT.

This follows a Bloomberg report earlier today, citing the Yomiuri newspaper as saying AirAsia Japan had informed relevant authorities it intends to halt its operations there.

This came amid reports in mid-September that AirAsia Japan was planning to suspend all flights from Oct 1 to 24 due to lower-than-expected demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes denied this, saying there were no “planned” suspensions although the airline was evaluating its operations in Japan.

Fernandes said the airline would continue to focus on Asean and had no plans to close its Japan operations.

“Not at the moment,” he said. “We never know what is going to happen (in the future).”

Fernandes had previously said AirAsia was hoping to raise as much as RM2.5 billion from bank loans and investors by the end of the year.

He had also said the airline was reviewing its Japan operations, the smallest of its foreign offshoots, as it seeks to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.