Why AirAsia should launch Australia Subsidiary

With Virgin Australia going into administration, Australia now has only one airline group- Qantas who will have monopoly over the skies of Australia.

Australia needs a second airline if Virgin doesn't survive. In my opinion, Air Asia is best suited to fill the gap by launching an Australian Subsidiary. Here're 5 reasons why Air Asia is best suited for this of all airlines

1. AirAsia has good experience running country level subsidiaries and integrating them into international network. Air Asia group runs Air Asia India, Thai AirAsia, Air Asia Indonesia etc. So it will be very easy for Air Asia group to set up an Australian subsidiary- like Air Asia Australia (AAA)

2. Readily available planes and crew
AirAsia's existing fleet is sitting idle 95%. It is very unlikely that they would need all of it at once after covid-19 pandemic ends and travel resumes. Air Asia can readily spare say 15-20 aircrafts for its Australian subsidiary and can get it started immediately. Over time as situation improves Air Asia can decide between buying more planes for Air Asia Australia or other such arrangements.

Most of Australia's domestic routes can be flown with A320. A few widebody A330s for long routes like Darwin-Melbourne or Perth to Brisbane might help.

3. AirAsia already has stations in Australia.
AirAsia X flies to Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne (AVV) and Perth in Australia. So they do have some staff and airport infrastructure in place. Starting domestic flights within Australia won't be difficult. AirAsia will have to add few more stations like Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide etc depending on demand and their plan.

4. Feed its international network.
A sound domestic network within Australia can also feed its international operations. People can book from India to Sydney on AirAsia X and then say connect to Brisbane on AirAsia Australia.

Now someone in Bali or Manila needs to fly to Kuala Lumpur to connect to a flight to Australia. Air Asia Australia might be able to offer some direct flights between Indonesia, Philippines and Australia

5. Near zero investment, guaranteed returns
Starting a new airline is expensive proposition. No one would venture out to do so under current circumstances. But Air Asia has the planes, crew, experience and a solid business plan as well as an immense opportunity. There is no reason why Tony shouldn't consider this plan. Australian govt is also likely to provide all required support as people of Australia will eventually benefit with lower ticket prices.

What do you think?

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