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AirAsia receives ‘The First China Domestic A320 Aircraft Export Leasing Business Innovation Award’

The shine continues with second successive ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’ award from Business Traveller Asia Pacific

Sepang, 28 September 2013

AirAsia was honoured by the China Air-Finance Award Ceremony Awards Committee with ‘The First China Domestic A320 Aircraft Export Leasing Business Innovation Award’ at the 1st China Air-Finance Award Ceremony recently, in recognition of the airline’s groundbreaking aircraft leasing deal with the ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd, the most innovative and globalized financial leasing company in China.

AirAsia started its winning combination with ICBC in 2011 with a sale and leaseback structure for 4 Airbus A320 aircraft, followed by an operating lease agreement in the same year for another 2 aircraft.

In December 2012, AirAsia and ICBC Leasing started a landmark operating lease agreement, in which the airline took delivery of an A320 aircraft assembled in Tianjin, China by Airbus (Tianjin) Final Assembly Co., Ltd.

It was acknowledged by the China Air-Finance Award Ceremony Awards Committee as a truly innovative and pioneering aircraft leasing arrangement, as the A320 aircraft was the first unit assembled in Tianjin to be accepted by an overseas client and China Tax Leasing Structure was first involved in an overseas deal.

AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes said, “A big thank you to the China Air-Finance Award Ceremony Awards Committee for the honour and recognizing innovation at work. I would also like to congratulate ICBC, for making history by becoming the first financing entity in China to lease an aircraft assembled by Airbus (Tianjin) Final Assembly to a foreign airline and of course, for starting a new chapter of financial leasing in China.

“This deal between AirAsia and ICBC does not only reflect a successful financing arrangement, but it also reinforces our excellent relationship with China, one of our important and valuable markets. We are the largest foreign airline operating into China by capacity and we look forward to continue serving its people with low fare flights to various destinations and through productive business collaborations like we are having with ICBC.”

This year, ICBC has also approved finance leases on two Airbus A320s operated by AirAsia Group’s airline affiliate, AirAsia Thailand.

AirAsia was also awarded—for the second time in succession--the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’ award at the 2013 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific’s Awards ceremony held at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong yesterday.

The Travel Awards ceremony is a premier annual event for over 20 years and a much awaited event by top players in travel and hospitality, to etch their names in the industry’s roll of honour.

The ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’ was a new category introduced last year and AirAsia was chosen as the inaugural victor, a nod to the airline’s growing power and its stature as the market leader in the low cost carrier segment.

Commenting on the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’ award win, Fernandes said, “This second ‘Best Low-Cost Carrier’ award win represents the unwavering support and belief from our guests towards our services and products. We thank them for choosing AirAsia as the airline of choice for their travels.

“We will continue to work hard to maintain our leadership spot and uphold our pledge to present our guests with unbeatable low fares and exceptional products and services. This win is also due to the collective contributions of our ‘AirAsia Allstars, whose hard work, passion, dedication and creativity made this recognition possible.

AirAsia was chosen as the inaugural award winner through votes by Business Traveller readers, recognizing the airline as a service provider which has maintained impeccable standards and making journeys seamless and productive.

This comprehensive survey was conducted annually among Business Traveller subscribers, and the 2013 results are based on data collected between April and June this year. For more than 20 years the awards have rewarded the excellence that its readers have experienced on their travels during the previous year.

AirAsia is a household name which has flown over 180 million guests since it was established eleven years ago with a mission to democratize air travel in the region and has been operationally profitable from day one of its launch as a low-cost carrier. The airline now has operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, servicing the most extensive network with 85 destinations.

Business Traveller heads the portfolio of titles belonging to the international publishing house, Panacea Publishing, headquartered in London. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific is one of 10 titles around the world, including Business Traveller China.

Since its first issue in April 1982, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has provided a valuable resource for frequent travellers and served as a dynamic platform for their concerns.