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AirAsia plan for China joint venture fails

The AirAsia Group's hopes of launching its long-awaited China joint venture appear to have been dashed.

In its filing of its quarterly results on Bursa Malaysia, the low-cost carrier says that the memorandum of understanding it signed last May with China Everbright Group and the Henan Government Working Group "has now lapsed... and will not be extended".

Under the MoU, the parties had a duration of 12 months "to discuss and negotiate definitive agreements for the JV".

They were to incorporate a joint venture known as AirAsia China. The unit was also to invest in aviation infrastructure, including a dedicated low-cost terminal at Zhengzhou airport, an MRO facility, and an aviation academy to train pilots, crew and engineers.

AirAsia group chief executive Tony Fernandes said the carrier chose Zhengzhou as it base due to its strategic location and importance as a logistics hub, adding that the city is set to become even more important with China's 'One Belt, One Road' policy. Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan Province in eastern China.

AirAsia currently has associates in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Japan.

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