AirAsia seeks funds worth $469 million - GulfToday

AirAsia seeks funds worth $469 million


AirAsia planes at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. File/Agence France-Presse

Malaysia’s AirAsia Group is looking to raise 2 billion ringgit ($469 million), its CEO was quoted as saying by the Nikkei Asian Review on Thursday, a day after its auditor cast doubt on the airline’s ability to continue as a going concern.

The budget carrier, like other airlines, has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic that has hammered demand for air travel. Its auditors said AirAsia’s financial statements and current industry conditions indicated material uncertainties that could raise doubts about the company’s future prospects.

AirAsia said in a statement some financial institutions had indicated they would support a funding request of over 1 billion ringgit and that it was also considering various fundraising options, including debt and equity.

In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said the airline would look to raise a total of 2 billion ringgit in the next six months.

“At 1 billion ringgit, we are comfortable. But if we can raise 2 billion ringgit, we would be in a very comfortable position,” Fernandes said in the interview. Part of the funding would come from a share offering within the next six months, Fernandes said, adding the new shares would be placed with a third-party investor.

Fernandes also said AirAsia could return to profitability next year. He denied speculation the airline was looking to exit its joint ventures in India and Japan.

India’s Business Standard newspaper reported on Thursday, citing banking sources, that Indian conglomerate Tata Sons was in talks to buy out AirAsia’s stake in their airline joint venture in India at a steep discount.


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