AirAsia may seek a public listing in Hong Kong and may set up a joint venture in China as the the Malaysia-based group looks for more aircraft to meet strong demand in North Asia and elsewhere, Reuters reported on the sidelines of the Farnborough Airshow.
The carrier is Asia's largest low-cost airline group with affiliates across Southeast Asia. Co-founder and chief executive Tony Fernandes referred to the potential dual listing without naming a location and hinted at a potential new aircraft order in remarks posted on his Twitter account on Sunday. "Looking at more ancillary (revenues), more capacity and dual listing," he said.
Reuters reported that the group is talking to Chinese banks and potential shareholders including China Everbright Bank. A Hong Kong listing could help raise the company's profile, coming on the heels of the Hong Kong listing of aviation lessor BOC Aviation, and allow it to raise new capital.
Fernandes has said previously he aims to make AirAsia a low-cost giant with one-stop connections mainly from its Malaysian base to become the “Dubai” of Asia.
In mid-June, former senior AirAsia executive Kathleen Tan rejoined the carrier to head its North Asia operations with responsibility for building the airline’s market and brand in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. China contributes nearly 40 percent of the group's revenues, but Fernandes said when appointing Tan that there "is still a lot to do in North Asia... an important long-haul market".