Global travel will rebound strongly despite omicron

International travel is likely to recover soon, despite the fact that progress is slowing due to the omicron option, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandez said.

“I believe we are at the beginning of the end,” he said Monday on CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia, noting that the recovery has already begun in earnest.

“The good thing is that at this time last year we did not have planes. We now have the majority of our fleet flying in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, ”he said, adding that demand was“ very, very high ”. strong.”

He predicted that international travel would return to pre-pandemic levels about six months after borders begin to open, and expressed hope that borders would start reopening in March.

After a flurry of non-quarantine travel ads in Asia last year, several countries, including Thailand and India restored restrictions for some arrivals, as the omicron increased the number of calls.

Fernandes also acknowledged that China remains a “big question” in terms of opening, given that the country is still pursuing its zero Covid policy.

AirAsia taxi booking service

Separately, Fernandez said the company’s taxi-ordering business is performing “incredibly well” and “far exceeded” expectations. since launch in August 2021

He said AirAsia’s strategy is “exactly the same” as the one it used when the company entered the low-cost airline market many years ago – high efficiency that translates into lower prices for consumers.

AirAsia Ride, which hit the market later, was able to observe which models were successful, and did not have to spend a lot of money on research, development or technology, he said. it’s the same acquired part of the operations of Indonesian startup Gojek in Thailand

“The market is still very, very little explored,” Fernandes said. “There is huge, huge potential.”

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