AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes is allegedly planning to set up a new airline to rival Qantas in Asia. A Malaysian newspaper report has quoted unnamed sources as saying that that the airline would be a super-premium full-service carrier to rival Qantas’ upcoming carrier, RedQ.
The carrier, which is likely to be called Caterham Jet, after Fernandes’ recently renamed Formula One race team, is supposed to begin operations from a base in Malaysia as early as May next year. The Sun Daily reports that Bombardier CRJ aircraft have already been secured as the airline begins its fleet construction, but it is yet to obtain an Air Operators License. Proposed routes from Kuala Lumpur include Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore.
Since the report emerged yesterday there has been no word from Fernandes on the issue and AirAsia was unable to offer any comment on the issue.
RedQ is Qantas new ultra-premium regional carrier, which will be based out of Singapore or Malaysia. The airline will operate across the Asia Pacific region, targeting China as a key market. A major pillar of Qantas’ new development strategy, RedQ is expected to have a fleet of 24 Airbus A320s within several years.