AirAsia Aviation is considering plans to deploy its Airbus A330s from the southern Malaysian state of Johor, as the airline eyes opportunities to ramp up its presence in the state. 

Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Aviation parent Capital A, says it would be “my next dream” to operate the A330s from Johor’s Senai airport to Australia, Japan and South Korea. 

9M-XXZ_(30637267411) AIrAsia X

Fernandes was speaking at the launch of Asia Digital Engineering’s new hangar facility at Senai airport on 18 January. Asia Digital Engineering is the MRO unit of Capital A. 

Senai airport is a hub for AirAsia Malaysia, which operates multiple domestic flights a day, as well as international flights to cities like Bangkok. 

Should AirAsia operate its widebodies – usually flown by medium-haul sister unit AirAsia X – from Johor, it would mark the first time the airline is flying them outside of its Kuala Lumpur hub. 

Fernandes’ disclosure on 18 January comes as AirAsia Aviation units in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia are in the midst of ramping up system-wide capacity following the Covid-19 pandemic. The group is in the process of bringing back parked aircraft to service. 

According to Fernandes, AirAsia Aviation has returned 140 aircraft to service, with a further 64 to be brought back