AirAsia reassures market over restructuring worries
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AirAsia reassures market over restructuring worries

Thai AirAsia insists that restructuring of the group in Malaysia will not affect operations in Thailand, while group chief executive Tony Fernandes will continue to guide the aviation business as he prepares to shift focus from airlines to other businesses.

Tassapon Bijleveld, executive chairman of Asia Aviation, the holding company of Thai AirAsia, said the restructuring of airlines under AirAsia would lead to a consolidated aviation group. This would not affect the operations of Thai AirAsia or Thai AirAsia X in Thailand as they would continue to operate individually with their own plans, he said.

The rejig being prepared for the Malaysian stock exchange is expected to see short-haul low-cost AirAsia under Capital A Berhad, formerly known as AirAsia Group, included in the same holding group with AirAsia X airlines, which operate long- and medium-haul flights.

Mr Tassapon said the restructuring would benefit the aviation business in terms of funding and help it to grow sustainably.

Mr Fernandes, AirAsia founder and chief executive of Capital A Berhad, was quoted this week as saying his journey in aviation might be coming to an end. He said he was eyeing a succession plan to focus on other businesses which could utilise a low-cost model, such as health and education.

Asia Aviation shares on Wednesday closed at 2.6 baht after briefly plunging to 2.54 baht during the day, the lowest level in months.

Mr Tassapon said share prices had nothing to do with Mr Fernandes' comment on his future in the aviation business, but the pricing trend aligned with the global trend and the Thai stock market, which saw a decrease this week.

He said there were no worries about changes in top executive positions at the moment as the timeline for Mr Fernandes to step down remained unclear, and the decision was not just made overnight as he had considered this issue over the past five years.

Mr Tassapon said he was confident that even though the founder might shift his focus to other businesses, he would still help supervise the direction of AirAsia's aviation business.

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