INDOCHINA REGION: Fernandes says plan will most likely be realised next year
AIRASIA Bhd, the country's leading low-cost carrier, plans to establish the Kota Baru airport as its hub for the Indochina region, according to group chief operating officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
Speaking on the sidelines of the second day of the World Capital Markets Symposium, here, yesterday, Fernandes said the company also sees the potential of several other domestic airports becoming regional hubs.
"We also see potential in Senai, Johor, and Kuantan, Pahang. I'd rather let Aireen Omar (AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer ) talk about it as she's the boss," Fernandes said, adding that the plan would most-likely be realised next year.
Fernandes, who earlier conducted a session entitled "Disruptive Innovation: The Future of Business", was asked by a member of the audience whether AirAsia would consider "disrupting the status quo" by using Kota Baru airport for Indochina-bound flights.
"I think it is a brilliant idea but unfortunately, before you take credit for it, we're (already) doing it," Fernandes answered, drawing laughter from the the packed hall of 700.
"From Kota Baru, we are going to start a flight to Medan. We're going to Singapore as well, and Indochina," said Fernandes.
On the 2014 Budget, Fernandes expressed his confidence in the Finance Ministry in managing the country's fiscal deficit effectively.
"Malaysians have to be aware that we need to cut the deficit. There are three ways in addressing the deficit - imposing goods and services tax, cutting spending and increasing productivity."
Fernandes said the budget should support productive industries and entrepreneurs as drivers of the economy, which will then create more jobs and generate tax revenue.
"One very simple thing is to break down monopolies and create fair and well-regulated markets.
"I think the banking industry has done a good job, so as to inject more competition into the market and make companies more productive," he added.