AirAsia is confident of a strong recovery in air travel to all the key domestic destinations and that international flights will resume in the near future, with stringent health and safety protocols in place.

The Malaysian airline says it is all geared up to fully restore its domestic and international services following the national government’s announcement of the resumption of interstate travel and the reopening of tourism activities once the vaccination rate for adults reaches 90%.

Thai AirAsia A320

Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

A Thai AirAsia A320 at Singapore’s Changi Airport in August 2018

AirAsia reports “overwhelming” demand for domestic leisure destinations that have reopened recently, including Langkawi in Malaysia, Boracay, Cebu and Bohol in the Philippines, and Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai in Thailand. Load factors for these leisure destinations have been in the range of 80%-90% and more frequencies and routes to be added soon in line with consistently strong forward bookings, it says.

As vaccination rates across the globe continue to rise, AirAsia expects that interstate leisure air travel will gradually continue to reopen first, potentially in the coming weeks, and that international travel could resume within the next few months, especially in the ASEAN region where inoculation rates are rising fast.

Airasia Group’s airlines president Bo Lingam states: “The demand is already there. People can’t wait to reunite with friends and family or take off to their favourite leisure destinations, and we are well prepared to paint the skies red across ASEAN as soon as the time is right.

“For Langkawi alone, AirAsia Malaysia has sold over 260,000 seats in just over a week, which is a strong testament to the level of pent-up demand for domestic travel.”