AirAsia Group’s chief executive Tony Fernandes has made a commitment to retain all staff, even with 96% of its fleet grounded.
The group has “no revenue coming in”, Fernandes says in a statement published on AirAsia carriers’ websites, alongside ongoing financial commitments such as those to fuel suppliers and leasing agents.
He adds: “We are doing everything possible to reduce costs during this time so we can come back fighting as fast as possible and continue to be the world’s best low-cost carrier, enabling everyone the ability to fly with our great value and service.”
Without going into specifics, both Fernandes and group chairman Kamarudin Meranun will receive no salary “during this period”, while other employees have accepted temporary pay reductions of 15-75%, “to share the impact this is having on our business”.
He also addressed customers’ frustration at receiving a refund for cancelled flights and urged them to accept flight credits as an alternative.
Earlier, AirAsia Japan announced on 8 April that it will suspend domestic operations 9-30 April and international operations from 20 March to 24 April.
Philippines AirAsia has also cancelled all flights until 30 April, after the country extended a “community quarantine” on the main Luzon island group to end-April.