Teleport, the logistics arm of Capital A, owners of AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), is eyeing fifty A321-200(P2F)s within five years amid fast-growing e-commerce air freight demand around Southeast Asia. Speaking in Singapore last week, Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes said that cargo was a "real opportunity" for the airline.

"So, we have taken Airbus 321 freighters, and the first one will come in December. That’s a new beginning for us to have freighters. In five years’ time, I think, we will have at least 50 freighters," The Jakarta Post reports Fernandes saying. "There’s a real opportunity here that what we did for passengers, we can do for cargo. Obviously, I think e-commerce could grow tremendously, and so we’re really focused on fulfilling faster e-commerce delivery."

As previously reported in ch-aviation, Teleport has already acquired three A321 freighters, with the first delivery now slightly brought forward from 1Q23. Pete Chareonwongsak, Chief Executive Officer of Teleport, had called the decision to take the freighters a "timely and strategic move" that would significantly boost Teleport's cargo capacities. The three planes will arrive on lease from BBAM. Teleport cargo is already carried in the hold of 252 AirAsia passenger aircraft that reach 160 cities across the Asia-Pacific region.

Capital A is attempting to shift AirAsia from an airline brand to a lifestyle brand revolving around the AirAsia "super app". In addition to offering point-to-point flights and cargo services, Capital A is expanding into online travel agency services, overland transportation, food delivery, and payment and transaction processing.

"With AirAsia, it’s not just planes. We have the last mile and first mile, so we can deliver. When you order something online, you want it fast, right?” added Fernandes. “We think we can be faster and cheaper."