AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Li Weidon, Vice Chairman of the Henan Airport Group and Wang Weigen, President and Executive Director for Everbright. This MoU will allow AirAsia Group to establish a new low-cost carrier in China, which will be dubbed AirAsia China and will be based in Zhengzhou, Henan.
After signing the MoU in the China World Hotel, Fernandes said:
We chose Zhengzhou as our base due to its strategic location and importance as a logistics hub. As China’s gateway to Europe, Zhengzhou sits at the centre of a vast rail, highway and air transport network that forms the linchpin of China’s development plans for its central and western regions. With President Xi Jinping’s vision for One Belt, One Road, Zhengzhou is set to become even more important, not least as the heart of low-cost air travel in North Asia.
This Chinese venture represents the final piece of the AirAsia puzzle. In just 16 years, we have successfully built a presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Japan, with China closing the loop on all major territories in Asia Pacific. AirAsia can now live up to its name as the only airline that connects travellers across Asia Pacific – from China, Japan and South Korea in the north, Australia and New Zealand to the south, India and the Middle East to the west, and Asean at the centre – representing an unbelievable foundation to drive growth for our partners and catapult change in the region.
Gao Yunglong, Vice Chairman of Everbright Group said:
We are excited to be part of this joint venture to bring AirAsia to China. We believe China is ready for the world’s leading LCC and we feel that AirAsia can deliver on that promise by providing real value to Chinese travelers thanks to its unique combination of low fares and world-class service.
Malaysian PM Najib Tun Razak, Ambassador in China Zaindddin Yahya, Special Envoy in China Ong Ka Ting, Agriculture Minister Shabery Cheek, AirAsia Executive Chairman Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Senior Executive Director Fam Lee Ee, AirAsia President for North Asia Kathleen Tan, Everbright Group President and Vice Chairman Gao Yunglong, Everbright Executive Director Xu Honzhe and Henan Group Vice GM Li Xingija also attended the MoU signing.