SINGAPORE—AirAsia has resumed its flight operations in Singapore as it made its return to world-class Changi Airport via Terminal 4 (T4) starting today, September 15, ending a two-year hiatus.
AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (AAAGL), the holding company of Capital A’s airline group, welcomed its comeback to Singapore as the fully loaded plane arrived from Kuala Lumpur at 8:30 AM local time through Airbus A330.
A press conference followed the touchdown, attended by the low-cost carriers’ executives led by Capital A chief executive officer Tony Fernandes.
“Returning to this state-of-the-art fully automated terminal feels like coming home as we actively participated in the consultation and sharing of ideas in the design and functionality of T4,” Fernandes said.
He said that Singapore, being the airline’s third-largest hub, is also an integral market.
“We are proud to have contributed to the industry’s growth and played a pivotal role in making the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route one of the busiest flight routes in the world,” he added.
In 2008, AirAsia started out with just two daily flights, then increased their services significantly to 281 trips per week. Meanwhile, in Singapore, the low-cost carrier contributed to 51 percent of the T4’s overall seat capacity during pre-pandemic.
Aiming to bounce back from its two-year break from flying to Singapore, AirAsia airlines expects to capture a larger share of the air travel market in Singapore.
The airliner also aims to boost its services to meet strong demand of travel in the region and restore its pre-pandemic operations soon.
“We also forecast increased demand over and above pre pandemic levels and are seeking to add new services using our larger wide body A330 aircraft with 377 seats operated by AirAsia X (D7) in the near future which we are working with Changi Airport on, to stimulate even more travel demand between Singapore and Malaysia,” Fernandes said.
Flights to and from Singapore are currently operated by four airlines in the group; AirAsia Malaysia (AK), AirAsia Indonesia (QZ), AirAsia Thailand (FD) and AirAsia Philippines (Z2), connecting a total of 168 flights weekly to 12 destinations across the ASEAN. This weekly frequency is currently about 60 percent of the airlines’ operations at T4 pre-COVID with plans to recover at 96 percent against pre-pandemic by the year’s end.
Now that the travel restrictions are being lifted in the region, Fernandes was confident that passenger traffic will increase again.
“With the international travel rebound, no travel restrictions into Singapore and the move to T4, we are optimistic that we will see our pre-pandemic passenger numbers again soon and foresee continued growth in our cargo and logistics operations in the region,” he added.
The event was also graced by Bo Lingam, AAAGL Group CEO; Logan Velaitham, CEO of AirAsia Singapore; Riad Asmat, CEO of AirAsia Malaysia; Vera Yosephine, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia; Ricky Isla, CEO of AirAsia Philippines; Santisuk Klongchaiya, CEO of AirAsia Thailand; and Karen Chan, Group Chief Commercial Officer of AirAsia.