AirAsia bags Airline Treasury Team of the Year award

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): AirAsia has bagged the Airline Treasury Team of the Year at the Asia Pacific Aviation 100 awards.

In a statement today, the low-cost carrier said the Airline Economics Magazine Aviation 100 awards recognise the air travel industry's most outstanding performers, as well as the most innovative and successful finance and leasing deals closed in the last 12 months.

AirAsia said it won the Airline Treasury Team of the Year based on the company's efficient fundraising deals that translated to strong financial performance as well as impressive fleet expansion activities.

In the 2018-2019 year, AirAsia sealed two major aircraft portfolio deals with BBAM and Castlelake LP for a combined US$3.6 billion.

The completion of the two transactions involved more than 100 aircraft and proved the team was not only efficient in their fundraising efforts, but also able to design financing structures which were not prevalent in typical aircraft financing transactions.

This year, AirAsia also made global headlines with two significant commitments for new aircraft.

At the 2019 Paris International Airshow, the company announced it would upsize its future Airbus single-aisle fleet, by converting orders for 253 Airbus A320neo to the larger Airbus A321neo.

In August 2019, its long-haul affiliate AirAsia X expanded its order book with Airbus by signing a US$5 billion agreement for 12 Airbus A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft.

AirAsia Group Bhd chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the sale of its aircraft leasing operations was the culmination of a long-running strategy to dispose of the group's physical assets, and by doing so, it was able to monetise the aircraft at high prices and reduce residual risk.

"This strategy has allowed us to invest that cash into a fleet expansion program and our many digital ventures, while at the same time provide shareholder returns and accelerate our vision to become Asia Pacific's leading travel and financial platform company.

"This would not have been possible without my incredible aircraft finance team, and I can't think of anyone else more deserving to win Airline Treasury Team of the Year," he said.

At 11.09am, AirAsia shed 0.52% or 1 sen to RM1.90, valuing it at RM6.35 billion.