In a televised statement, the Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said AirAsia is shutting down its operations in India as the parent company is having problems. “AirAsia ki dukan bandh honewali hain. Unki parent company mein problem hain,” he told reporters. However, the airline’s spokesman declined to comment on the minister’s statement.
In September, there had been reports that the Malaysia-based airline is planning to raise around $602 million by the end of the year to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Reuters, AirAsia is also reviewing its business in Japan. The budget carrier also recorded its biggest-ever quarterly loss in August. Because of the ongoing global health crisis, AirAsia’s revenue fell to RM2.31 billion from RM2.73 billion previously. Auditor Ernst & Young had said that travel and border restrictions implemented by countries around the world has led to a significant fall in demand for air travel which impacted the group’s financial performance and cash flows. The airline’s CEO Tony Fernandes, in a statement, had said, “This is by far the biggest challenge we have faced since we began in 2001.” Moreover, its facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit from a Hong Kong-based BOC Aviation. The aircraft leasing company, as per International Finance, alleges AirAsia X and its subsidiary, AAX Leasing Two, owe nearly US$23 million after breaching lease agreement obligations concerning four aircraft. BOC Aviation and AirAsia have been in operations since 2014.
Fernandes had said the airline is in talks for joint ventures and collaborations that may result in additional investment, and it has also applied for bank loans and is weighing proposals to raise capital. And there had also been reports of Tata group’s interesting acquiring the carrier. Reports stated that of the Tata bid is deemed accepted, the 90 day period for handover shall commence and end by November 30, or at the most, by December 31.