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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Business & Industry Features) Wed, Jun 5, 2013

AirAsia reported a 39 percent fall in profit Despite AirAsia's rapid expansion to markets as far-flung as Japan and Indonesia - boosting its fleet to 124 planes - its Malaysian operation still makes up 80 percent of its profits, boasting plump group operating profit margins of 19.5 percent. The challenge from Malindo comes as higher financing costs erode AirAsia's earnings. AirAsia reported a 39 percent fall in profit in January-March. Since the start of the year, analysts have trimmed net profit estimates for AirAsia for 2013 by 3 percent. AirAsia's charismatic boss Tony Fernandes dismissed the challenge from Malindo with a curt "no" when asked about it by Reuters last month. Subhranshu Sekhar Das, who heads consultancy Frost & Sullivan's aerospace and defense practice for Asia-Pacific, said Malindo was targeting a niche between full-service and budget. Malindo steps into a void left by Malaysia Airlines' turboprop arm Firefly, which gave up its service to Borneo destinations in 2011. Along with...

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