AirAsia full-service airline would be ‘disastrous’: Fernandes

MANILA: Starting a full-service airline to take on the world’s best-rated carriers is not something low-cost aviation giant AirAsia will be considering, according to group chief executive Tony Fernandes.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Fernandes implored regional airlines to stick to what they do best, as the battle to dominate Asian skies intensifies.

“If AirAsia decided to start a full-service airline, we’d be disastrous at it. It’s not in our DNA,” he said.

“I think airlines should just stick to what they’re good at. You don’t get Rolls-Royce trying to start a budget car company.”

Fernandes, whose fast-growing budget brand will fly out of the new Changi Terminal 4 in Singapore later this year, had some choice advice particularly for Singapore Airlines, which recently merged its Scoot and Tigerair brands to create a more formidable low-cost carrier.

“If I was Singapore Airlines, I’d just focus on the Singapore Airlines product,” he said. “It should focus on what it’s good at. It’s a good premium product.

“Airlines, because they’ve been monopolies, are scared to lose any sort of control. One of my biggest mistakes is losing focus. You try to do too many things and you lose focus.”


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