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AirAsia addressing PN17 status, says Fernandes

THE STAR – AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) is in the midst of formulating a plan to regularise its financial condition to address its Practice Note 17 (PN17) status and relevant announcements will be made in due course.

Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said AirAsia’s robust and diverse company portfolios will allow it to fast track the regularisation of its financial position and has affirmed the strong viability of its business moving forward.

“Importantly, we are not just an airline anymore (that is) solely reliant on airfares. We are an investment company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses, all of which are on track to become industry leaders in their respective fields in Asean,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Bursa Malaysia had on Jan 13 dismissed AAGB’s appeal seeking to extend an 18-month relief period from being classified as a PN17 company that ended on January 7, 2022, Bernama reported.

Fernandes said AAGB had undertaken various fundraising exercises to improve its liquidity position, whilst putting in place a solid foundation to not only survive but to recover from the effects of the pandemic stronger than ever in the near future.

He said the group had raised over MYR2.5 billion to date, including the private placement of MYR336.48 million in the first quarter of 2021.

It had also raised another MYR974.51 million via a renounceable rights issue of seven-year redeemable convertible unsecured Islamic debt securities and is planning to raise up to MYR400 million in additional capital this year.

This will ensure sufficient liquidity to ride out the effects of the pandemic in 2022, he said.

On the airline, Fernandes said AAGB had reduced costs significantly and continued to operate in one of the lowest cost bases in the world.

“Recovery is well underway for the aviation and airline industry. We are continuing to ramp up domestic operations in our core markets in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines to near pre-Covid levels on a number of key routes,” he added.

AirAsia Group Bhd Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes