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AirAsia revives Global Express purchase

AirAsia has revived plans to purchase a used Bombardier Global Express business jet from Caterham Jet Global for executive transport use, after a previous deal fell through last year.

In a disclosure to the Malaysian stock exchange, the low-cost carrier says that it plans to acquire the aircraft (registered 9M-CJG) for $10 million, which includes a $1.5 million deposit from the previous deal.

The aircraft will then be operated by a separate subsidiary, which could have its own air operator's certificate for charter and private hire operations “without being constrained by the regulatory considerations of the commercial AOC of AirAsia.”

Caterham Jet is owned by AirAsia’s executive chairman Kamaruddin Meranun and group chief executive Tony Fernandes.

AirAsia says that the business jet allows the two executives “the convenience and efficient transport provided by the aircraft when travelling to AirAsia’s associates for work, as they would have to rely on commercial flights which may be infrequent or inconveniently-timed.”

The deal is expected to be completed by 30 June.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the aircraft was built in 1997 and used by Bombardier as a demonstrator aircraft, before being acquired by Caterham Jet in 2012.

It is likely to be the aircraft that was implicated in a Rolls-Royce corruption scandal, with allegations that the engine manufacturer applied credit to the business jet's engine servicing account following pressure from an unnamed AirAsia group executive.

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