KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 19 (AFP): Low-cost carrier AirAsia hopes to launch more flights to China and subsequently to India as part of its ambitious plans to become an Asia-wide airline.
Southeast Asia's most profitable budget carrier is also looking at forming new joint-ventures in the region to boost revenue, group deputy chief executive Kamarudin Meranum told AFP over the weekend.
"We continue to talk to various parties to explore the possibility of establishing joint-ventures," Kamarudin said.
Kamarudin said Indochina countries and the Philippines were on AirAsia's radar to form joint-ventures.
"From our experiences in Thailand and Indonesia, we can set up joint- ventures fairly quickly.
"But it must fit into our strategic plan to make AirAsia become an Asian carrier and to provide easy and affordable access for people to travel in the region," he said.
The Malaysia-based AirAsia has already managed 49 per cent- owned joint venture low-cost carriers in Thailand and Indonesia since 2004.
Kamarudin declined to state with which Indochina country -- Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam -- the carrier would establish a joint-venture.
"In any joint-ventures, we will try to retain as much stake as allowed by the law of the country without contravening the air services agreement," he said.
The AirAsia official also declined to comment on a report in January that the carrier had partnered with privately-owned Spring Airlines in hopes of tapping China's budget travel market.