Malaysia-based AirAsia's long haul subsidiary AirAsia X has deferred all deliveries of new aircraft this year, as it builds up its balance sheet ahead of a possible public listing.

The carrier was supposed to receive three Airbus A330s this year but has deferred the deliveries, says AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman Rani.

"We are consolidating and building up our balance sheet ahead of any prospective listing," he adds.

AirAsia has said it is eyeing a public listing for AirAsia X in the second half of 2011, but Azran says no decision has been made yet by the airline's shareholders.

"We have to make sure that the balance sheet is ready in case shareholders decide," he adds, saying that the shareholders are waiting to see the carrier's full-year results in 2010.

AirAsia X operates 11 A330s currently and has 17 more on order. It expects these to arrive from 2012 to 2017. It also has an order for 10 A350s and these will be delivered from 2017.

The carrier is eyeing flights to North America with the A350s, says Azran.

This year, it will begin services to Paris Orly and Christchurch. The airline is still awaiting approval from Malaysian authorities to begin flights to Sydney, he adds.

AirAsia X expects revenue to grow by 50% this year and passenger traffic to increase by 40%, says Azran. The airline also plans to grow its ancillary revenue to a 28% share of its total revenue from the current 24%.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news