AirAsia Japan set to take off early 2016


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PARIS, France (June 16): AirAsia Bhd's new carrier in Japan is set to start operations early next year, said its group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

"We will be submitting the AOC (air operator’s certificate to the Japanese authorities) in the next few weeks," he told a press conference after the signing ceremony between AirAsia and Airbus for the purchase of the electronic Flight Folder app today.

This would be AirAsia's second attempt at Japan’s aviation market after ending its joint venture (JV) with ANA Holdings Inc in 2013 due to a disagreement over strategy.

Under the new JV, AirAsia holds a 49% stake in AirAsia Japan, while Rakuten Inc owns 18%, Octave Japan Co Ltd (19%), cosmetics producer Noevir Holdings Co Ltd 9% and sporting goods vendor Alpen Co Ltd the remaining 5%.

Initially targeted to start in the middle of 2015, it was reported that AirAsia had been forced to delay its return to Japan's skies as the transport ministry in Tokyo was being "meticulous" on the airline's operations before granting approval.

Shares in AirAsia (fundamental: 0.2; valuation: 1.4) extended losses to close down 8.38% at RM1.64 today, with 33.15 million shares traded. Its market capitalisation stood at RM4.56 billion. 

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)