AirAsia & Tiger Airways continue to grow, fight
AirAsia has been in the headlines a lot this week and today, its total market cap hit a record high of RM7.6 billion ($2.44 billion). This is significant in more ways than one: it has now surpassed Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) market value of RM7.5 billion, making AirAsia Malaysia’s most valuable airline.
The company has shown gains on other airline-specific indices with the release of its 3Q operating statistics. Its RPK (revenue passenger kilometers) rose 26% on last year; its load factor (seating capacity actually used) went from 75% to 78%, and ASK (available seat kilometers) went up 11%.
AirAsia has also kept itself busy recently in an advertising war with Singapore-based budget carrier Tiger Airways, which has also experienced rapid growth and just won the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s Low Cost Airline of the Year award. AirAsia took out a series of full page advertisements in newspapers to mock its rival, and CEO Tony Fernandes has personally joined in the baiting by describing Tiger as a ‘tiny carrier’ and was accused of racism after saying AirAsia was run by ‘Asians, not a bunch of white guys’.
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