AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur International) will restart deliveries of A321neo later this year and have all its inactive aircraft back in service this quarter, Tony Fernandes, the CEO of Capital A, said while speaking to media on January 8, 2024.

AirAsia has 362 A321-200NX on order and had taken delivery of a handful in 2019 before Fernandes put the brakes on following the outbreak of Covid-19. The aircraft will be distributed among the various AirAsia airlines, which include operators in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and soon Cambodia.

Earlier this month, Capital A announced that it would sell its short-haul airline businesses to subsidiary AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur International) for a yet-to-be-determined amount. AirAsia X will then undergo a rebranding exercise and become known as AirAsia Aviation Group. Fernandes said Capital A has been talking to "committed investors" looking for pure aviation plays.

Fernandes will retain significant direct and indirect stakes in the AirAsia airlines via his other investment vehicles and outlined where he saw the AirAsia Aviation Group tracking over the next few years. "We have a multi-hub strategy to fly around the world," he said. The strategy would see Bangkok become AirAsia Aviation Group's primary departure point for Europe-bound flights, which it hopes to restart later this year, while Kuala Lumpur International and Manila Ninoy Aquino International would become hubs for flights to Africa and the United States. "AirAsia is treating ASEAN as a hub," said Fernandes. "A Malaysian could fly to Manila and then over to Los Angeles."

"We probably will need another aircraft for Europe and the US West Coast. We will need the A350 (for that), but 2025 would be the earliest we would look at that," he said. "We are getting the A330 into Indonesia and the Philippines... With the A330, we can start going much further than we have ever done from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta. Our first job is getting approvals to get the plane into Indonesia and the Philippines, but I imagine this will be done by 2025." AirAsia X operates A330-300s and has A330-900Ns due.

Meanwhile, Fernandes has said he will retire as Capital A CEO in 2028. However, he told the assembled media that he had several goals to achieve before then, including getting total aircraft numbers to 333, getting passenger numbers up to around 200 million annually, finalise the merger between AirAsia and AirAsia X, launch airlines based in Singapore and Viet Nam, and to centralise as much as possible under one holding company.