AirAsia renamed Capital A to show it's more than an airline

Malaysia Airline

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's AirAsia Group said Friday it has changed the name of its listed holding company to Capital A to reflect the diversity of its business portfolio as it seeks to grow its non-airline revenue.

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes said the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed the group to accelerate plans to grow beyond the airline business to become a “one-stop digital travel and lifestyle services group."

The airline retains the AirAsia brand name. But the group will focus more on expanding other businesses including logistics, aircraft engineering, venture capital, education and mobile applications for payments, travel and lifestyle.

“It's a significant milestone that marks a new era for the group. Today's announcement is about telling the world that we are much more than an airline," Fernandes said. He said he expects non-airline businesses to contribute half of group revenue by 2026.

Like many carriers, AirAsia has been struggling as regional borders closed due to the pandemic. Malaysia’s stock exchange earlier this month classified the firm as financially distressed.

Fernandes said domestic travel in key markets is rebounding, with AirAsia filling 80% of seats on offer in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the highest number of passengers since the pandemic began.

“We can bounce back as soon as borders are open," he said, predicting a return to normal capacity for international services by the third quarter this year.