The Beginner's Guide to AirAsia : Hi, We're AirAsia!

1.1 : How did it start?
From two ageing aircraft and a USD11mil (MYR 40 million) debt to becoming the world’s best low-cost airline

We started in 2001 with 2 old aircraft, having bought the then loss making AirAsia from its Malaysian owner DRB-Hicom, for a token of MYR1 (USD0.25 cents) and MYR40 million (USD11 million) in debt.

Born in the aftermath of 9/11 and coming through the global financial crisis, AirAsia has faced some of the most turbulent times in the airline industry. With our successes today, we stand as testimony to the power of great innovation, passion, teamwork and well-executed ideas.

1.2 : How did we do it?

a) Low fares

i. Committed to low fares

    Our commitment to low fares lies in our promise of “Now Everyone Can Fly”. Our service targets guests who can do without the frills of full-service airlines in exchange for low fares.

    ii. 25-minute turnaround

      Less time on the ground and more time in the air means we get the most of every flight through high aircraft utilisation, lower costs and greater airline and staff productivity.

    b) Low cost carrier model

    i. Self automation  
    The more you DIY (self check-in), the more we save on operational costs – that means lower fares for you!  
    ii. No frills  
    Pay only for what you want. If you want additional inflight comfort, just add-on. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.  
    iii. Cost-saving innovations  
    Constantly on the lookout for the latest advancement in savings, we are the first airline to use the new Airbus A320 aircraft installed with ‘sharklet wing tips’ to lower wind drag and provide better fuel consumption.

    c) Great value, amazing quality

    Safety first – Our cost optimization philosophy is in no way at the expense of safety. Our fleet of Airbus aircraft fully complies with the conditions of the International Aviation Safety, and is regulated by the internationally renowned Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation. We have renowned international partners for aircraft and engine maintenance, and made significant investment to ensure the safety of our planes. We adopt a zero tolerance to unsafe practices and strive for zero accidents through proper training, work practices, risk management and adherence to safety regulations at all times.

    Take a peek into the world of low-cost travel, the AirAsia way

1.3 : How and where do we fly to?

    Our unique no-frills business concept is an innovation that has changed the airline business forever. We have the most extensive network and most frequencies to destinations around the region. From one route between KL and Langkawi, two planes and a staff  of 250 in 2002, to over 88 destinations and carried over 220 million guests, we have shrunk the world even more rapidly. With many routes unique to AirAsia, we really do fly you to places that will give you new and unique experiences others cannot offer. See our latest Route Map.

    a) Flight codes – what are they and who do they represent? Just take a look at the table below:

      AK Malaysia AirAsia
      FD Thai AirAsia
      QZ Indonesia AIrAsia
      D7 AirAsia X
      Z2 Philippines AirAsia
      XJ Thai AirAsia X
      I5 AirAsia India
       XT  Indonesia AirAsia Extra


    b) Brand new Airbus – We operate a fleet of the Airbus A320 aircraft, representing one of the world's most technologically advanced, safest and most reliable passenger aircraft. Our fleet is one of the youngest in the region, with an average age of just 3.5 years. There are currently over 150 Airbus A320s in service and another 200 orders have been placed for the new A320neo. AirAsia now stamps its dominance in Asia with a record total of 475 narrow bodies on order with Airbus.

    c) Aircraft types – Our A320 could fly 180 guests (AirAsia flights below 4 hours) and 377 guests on the A330 (AirAsia X flights above 4 hours).


    1.4 : What have we won?

We always strive to give the best to our guests. Our biggest pride is winning Skytrax’s ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Airline’ for 7 years running. Check out what else we've won so far.