SEPANG, Malaysia, 30 March 2020: AirAsia Group announced, at the weekend, it is temporarily hibernating most of its fleet across its entire network in Asia, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to extensive border restrictions.
The actual fleet downtime differs with each of the group’s member airlines.
AirAsia Malaysia suspended all flights, international and domestic, 28 March and that continues to 21 April.
AirAsia Philippines suspended all flights 20 March, and that continues to 14 April
AirAsia Thailand suspended all international flights from 25 March to 25 April and now suspends all domestic services from 1 to 30 April.
AirAsia Indonesia suspends all domestic flights 1 to 25 April and international flights from 1 April to 17 May.
AirAsia India suspended all flights 25 March for 21 days. (The airline flies only domestic routes)
AirAsia X Malaysia suspended most flights from 28 March until 31 May. The airline only services international routes.
AirAsia X Thailand suspended all flights 16 March for three months. Its DMK-ICN service suspended until 19 April.
Issued on behalf of the entire AirAsia Group and the AirAsia X Group the statement said: “With governments imposing travel and movement restrictions including home quarantine orders, AirAsia is also playing its part in helping curb the spread of the virus in order to keep flying safely for everyone.”
The group added that it was prepared to reinstate services as soon as the situation improves and subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.
Passengers have the option of converting flight bookings into a credit account that is valid for future redemption for 365 days or moving their flights for an unlimited number of times without any charges to another date prior to 31 October 2020.
The changes to bookings are made via AirAsia virtual Allstar AVA on airasia.com or support.airasia.com. However, passengers mainly through social media posts that virtual chatbot AVA could not keep up with the influx of requests with no back-up system manned by people to relieve the pressure.
The group added that the “temporary fleet hibernation is the right thing to do to ensure the well-being of our passengers and employees.”
Both management and senior employees of AirAsia Group have volunteered a salary sacrifice, ranging from 100% at the very top to 15%.
“This will help ensure that we can ride out this prolonged period of extremely low travel demand and at the same time minimise the impact on our employees, especially those in junior positions,” AirAsia Group Berhad explained in the statement.