It’s more than one week after the disappearance of the AirAsia flight QZ8501, but despite various assumptions, the causes of the accident are still unknown, so let's take a brief look at this young low-cost airline that lacks nothing in comparison with other large companies.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, AirAsia began operations in 1996. Today, they are one of the fastest growing companies in the world, becoming in 2013, the largest low-cost carrier in Asia due to their fleet of 158 aircraft, and nearly 43 million passengers carried. Over the last six years, they have even been elected the best low-cost airline in the world, and serve 83 destinations in 17 countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia. The average fill rate of their aircraft stands at 80%.
AirAsia is also a safe company. The crash of 28th December is the first fatal accident they have had in their 18 years of existence.
The average age of the aircraft in its fleet, composed only of Airbus A320’s, is only three years. By 2026, AirAsia, together with their long-haul subsidiary, Air Asia X, will also have taken delivery of more than 350 new aircraft, including 291 A320neo’s and 10 A350’s. Like any self-respecting low-cost, AirAsia put the emphasis on productivity. Their ‘planes have an on the ground turnaround time of 25 minutes, and spend an average of thirteen hours a day in the air.
At present it is difficult to know what the impact of the Java Sea crash will be on the company. Meanwhile, since the accident, AirAsia has opted for sobriety, on their website, the colour of the company’s official logo has changed from bright red to gray, in homage to the 162 people who died, and their families.