AirAsia is among the few airlines across the world that has chosen to keep all of its staff amidst the global crisis. COVID-19 took a major toll on the aviation industry which has led most airlines to ground their fleet.
On 11th April 2020, Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group released a statement addressing the situation. In his statement, Tony urges customers to accept AirAsia credit instead of opting for refunds. He also mentioned that more than 80 percent of the customers had chosen AirAsia credit. Instead of refunds and extended his appreciation for them.
The AirAsia credit comes with a 365-day validity, allowing passengers to change flight dates for an unlimited number of times. The airline accepts requests for refunds on a case by case basis as well. However, according to Tony’s statement. Due to the overwhelming number of requests received, the refunding process may take 12 to 16 weeks.
I know many of you have expressed frustration with not receiving a refund for your flights but I encourage you to accept a credit as a good alternative. More than 80 percent of you have accepted our credit offer and we truly appreciate this. Please know that our policy is in line with many operators in the travel industry and reflects our focus on coming out the other side of this difficult period and flying with you again as soon as possible. We have ensured that we adhere to all regulations and requirements of respective governments and consumer authorities and believe this is the best solution. You are among the over 600 million guests who have flown AirAsia and can’t wait to fly with you again once this is over.Tony Fernandes , Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group
Tens of thousands of staff depending on the business for their livelihoods and well being. The decision to retain the staff had to be made. Tony, along with the Chairman Kamarudin Meranun, has decided not to take salaries during this period. In order to share the impact of the pandemic, the staff accepted temporary pay reductions ranging from 15% to 75% depending on seniority.
I also want to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you for your loyalty to AirAsia and I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well throughout this trying time. I’m truly sorry that many of your travel plans have been affected.”Tony Fernandes , Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group
Furthermore, Tony stated that the AirAsia team is working around the clock to provide assistance to the customers. Live agents are available for customer enquiries 24/7 through LiveChat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter & WeChat.
In spite of all the challenges, Tony assured that AirAsia is strong and remains firmly focused on the future. The aviation industry being greatly affected by the surge of COVID-19. Tony reassured that once this is over, the airline will be back stronger, and making sure everyone can fly again.