AirAsia Group has established a new entity within the company by the name of AirAsia Consulting, which will specialise in providing consultation services on how to set up a low-cost carrier, sources have told The Edge Markets, with one potential client reportedly already in talks with the consultancy.

AirAsia Consulting Sdn Bhd will provide its advisory services to parties interested in establishing a new budget airline under a brand that AirAsia Group would franchise out, the sources explained.

The AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) parent is currently working with a potential client interested in the franchise model, the sources added.

As the new entity’s chief executive officer, the group has appointed Kuala Lumpur-based Subashini Silvadas, who joined the company in 2007 and who since October 2019 has headed the group’s airline strategy and joint ventures. She is also understood to be working on setting up operations for a new subsidiary, AirAsia Cambodia, in Phnom Penh.

In separate statements in recent months, both group president Bo Lingam and group chief executive Tony Fernandes have hinted at a new airline within the company, which would operate alongside existing carriers in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In the group’s financial results for the third quarter of 2020, released in November, Lingam said the company was “actively exploring opportunities for a local airline presence in Indochina.”