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AirAsia expects return of normal travel behavior by 2022

AIRASIA Group Berhad continues to focus on survival and restructuring, as travel behavior is expected to return to normal by 2022, its top official said.

“If there’s a crisis, there are opportunities, and we feel it’s a great chance to restructure, reenergize and come back stronger. I believe 2021 will be a much, much better year than 2020. I’m anticipating that by June, things will begin to normalize. By 2022, we’ll start to see normal behavior coming out,” AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Anthony Francis “Tony” Fernandes said at Go Negosyo’s online conference on Monday.

The group currently focuses on “survival” and “being positive” amid the ongoing global health crisis, Mr. Fernandes added.

“It’s also about restructuring our business. It’s about cash. It’s about helping those within the ecosystem—it’s about re-pivoting, and that’s what we have been doing,” he continued.

AirAsia also announced on Monday that its logistics venture, Teleport, has completed the rollout of its delivery services in 70 cities in Southeast Asia, including Manila, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga, “over the last 30 days.”

“Businesses in any of these 70 cities can now partner with Teleport to have items instantly delivered to their customers within one hour,” it said in a statement.

Teleport Chief Executive Officer Pete Chareonwongsak said, “Soon, businesses can experience 24-hour express deliveries between cities as well as cross-border deliveries.”

“The goal is by next year, with a click of a button, you can send almost anything instantly to anywhere AirAsia flies to,” he added.

The group is banking on its digital business to help its airline operations recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In September, AirAsia Group Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the airline group expects its digital segment to become “another core business.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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