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AirAsia to launch Zhengzhou-based LCC

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Published: May 15, 2017

Malaysia-based low-cost carrier (LCC) AirAsia plans to launch a new LCC in Zhengzhou, China in an effort to explore the fast-growing Chinese low-cost market.

AirAsia (China) is a joint venture (JV) between AirAsia, state-backed financial firm Everbright Group and Henan Government Working Group, the airline said in a statement.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is visiting China, attended the signing of the JV agreement.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the carrier chose Zhengzhou “due to its strategic location and importance as a logistics hub. As China’s gateway to Europe, Zhengzhou sits at the center of a vast rail, highway and air transport network that forms the linchpin of China’s development plans for its central and western regions. With President Xi Jinping’s vision for One Belt, One Road, Zhengzhou is set to become even more important … as the heart of low-cost air travel in North Asia,” Fernandes said.

He added, “This Chinese venture represents the final piece of the AirAsia puzzle. In just 16 years, we have successfully built a presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Japan, with China closing the loop on all major territories in Asia Pacific.”

AirAsia and AirAsia X currently fly to 15 destinations in China, but do not yet operate to/from Zhengzhou. The group is the largest foreign LCC operating in China.

China Everbright Group is a conglomerate focused on financial services and controlled by the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

In addition to the new JV, AirAsia would also invest in aviation infrastructure in Zhengzhou, including building a low-cost airport terminal at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport. It will also set up an aviation college to train pilots, cabin crews and engineers and establish facilities to provide MRO services.

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