AirAsia Group has no plans to buy the struggling rival Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), Group CEO Tony Fernandes said.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, Fernandes stressed that AirAsia Group will not be diverting cash to buy other airlines. Rather, the low-cost carrier group currently focuses on investment in digital technologies. The group has also halted all new country units except for AirAsia Vietnam (Da Nang) which, according to Deputy Group CEO Bo Lingam, could take off towards the end of 2019 or in early 2020.

Fernandes also said that in his belief, Malaysia Airlines can still be turned around. He advised the Malaysian government against shutting it down due to the present losses and instead work hard to turn the carrier into a profitable enterprise.

"There are fantastic people in Malaysia Airlines, it is a good brand. I think it could be turned around. I think it is not a wise idea to close it down, there should be good efforts to revive it," he said.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) is significantly larger than Malaysia Airlines. The LCC proffers 792,000 weekly scheduled seats to the market, while the Malaysian flag carrier's capacity stands at 424,925 weekly seats. The long-haul unit of the low-cost group, AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), proffers a further 140,244 weekly scheduled seats.