Coronavirus: Budget airline AirAsia’s foreseeable future in ‘significant doubt’

Coronavirus: Budget airline AirAsia's future in ‘significant doubt’

Woman wearing a face mask walks past the logo of AirAsia at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.Picture copyright
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The future of Asia’s largest budget airline, AirAsia, is in “significant doubt”, auditor Ernst & Younger has said.

Shares in the Malaysian-based mostly airline fell by extra than 17% on Wednesday right after remaining halted earlier in the working day.

The airline’s founder and chief executive is tycoon Tony Fernandes, who also co-owns Queens Park Rangers (QPR) football club in the United kingdom.

The world’s airlines have been strike difficult by the sharp fall in passengers due to demanding coronavirus travel constraints.

Ernst & Young highlighted the airline’s huge debts in a assertion to the Kuala Lumpur inventory trade late on Tuesday.

It claimed AirAsia’s latest liabilities already exceeded its existing assets by 1.84bn ringgit ($430m £340m) at the end of 2019, right before the start of the pandemic.

The Asian carrier’s financial overall performance and hard cash move have been even more hit by the grounding of its planes amid limited journey curbs and lockdowns.

This slump and AirAsia’s economic efficiency “reveal existence of product uncertainties that might cast substantial doubt on the Group’s and the Company’s skill to proceed as a going concern,” Ernst & Youthful explained in its unqualified audit belief statement.

On Monday, AirAsia described a document quarterly reduction of 803.8m ringgit. The finances airline started off suspending flights in late March.

“This is by significantly the biggest obstacle we have faced since we started in 2001,” Mr Fernandes claimed in a statement.

“Every disaster is an impediment to conquer, and we have restructured the group into a leaner and tighter ship.”

“We are good in the strides we have built in bringing dollars costs down by at minimum 50% this yr, and this will make us even much better as the top minimal-price tag provider in the location,” he included.

AirAsia reported it was in talks about joint ventures and collaborations that may perhaps end result in additional financial commitment. It has also applied for bank loans and is weighing proposals to raise further cash.

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