Tony Fernandes plans to start premium regional carrier

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AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes plans to start a new all-premium regional carrier based in Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with Malaysia Airlines.

The carrier will target business travellers and those who need to get across the region fast, Fernandes said at an AirAsia event yesterday.

An AirAsia official confirmed the comments, but stressed that the planned carrier "has nothing to do with AirAsia" and is linked to Fernandes alone.

Fernandes declined to go into the details of his business plan, but said the project will boost the revenue of flag carrier MAS and give it an edge over its competitor Singapore Airlines, which does not have a premium short-haul service.

The plan will put Fernandes in direct competition against Qantas Airways, which plans to set up a premium regional carrier based in either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.