AirAsia is an Asian low-cost airline headquartered in Malaysia, with hubs in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India, and Japan. It is the largest low-cost carrier in Asia, with a fleet of over 200 aircrafts. Founded in 1993 by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, AirAsia has grown from a small regional airline to a major international carrier.
The airline was established in 1993, when Tony Fernandes and his partners bought AirAsia, a struggling regional airline. With a starting capital of only $11, the founders managed to turn the airline around in just a few years. In 2002, AirAsia became the first airline in Malaysia to offer low-cost fares and soon started to expand to other countries in the region.
The AirAsia fleet consists of Airbus A320-200 and A321-200 aircrafts, operated by the airline's main subsidiary, AirAsia X. AirAsia X is the long-haul low-cost subsidiary of AirAsia, launched in 2007 and operates flights to destinations in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and Australia. The airline also operates an additional subsidiary, AirAsia India, which was launched in 2013 and operates domestic flights within India.
AirAsia has achieved many milestones over the years. In 2003, the airline became the first in Southeast Asia to be listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. In 2004, AirAsia launched its first international route from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. In 2008, AirAsia established its first affiliate, Thai AirAsia, and in 2011, it launched a new subsidiary, Indonesia AirAsia.
In 2012, AirAsia won the prestigious World’s Best Low-Cost Airline award at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. In the same year, AirAsia also became the first Malaysian airline to launch a mobile app. In 2015, AirAsia became the first airline in the world to accept payments via Alipay, the largest online payment platform in China.
AirAsia has been involved in several incidents over the years. In 2005, an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket crashed in the Andaman Sea, killing all 102 passengers and crew on board. In 2014, the airline was the subject of an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over allegations of bribery and mismanagement.
AirAsia has come a long way since its inception in 1993, growing into a major international carrier with a fleet of over 200 aircrafts and operations in seven countries. The airline has achieved many milestones and has been recognized for its success, but it has also been involved in several incidents over the years. Despite these challenges, AirAsia has remained committed to its goal of providing affordable air travel to all.