AirAsia grows logistics arm with new cargo aircraft
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia— Teleport, the logistics arm of Capital A Berhad, formerly the AirAsia Group, on Wednesday night officially launched its first-ever freighter-dedicated aircraft, upgrading the company’s operational capacity amid its bid to dominate the logistics scene in Asia.
Teleport CEO Pete Chareonwongsak said that their newly leased Airbus 321freighter (A321F) will allow the logistics provider to carry more and do more, given its max payload capacity of 27 tons and flying range of 2,000 nautical miles.
“What used to take us 30 minutes to load 500 pieces now takes us just two minutes. We can carry more, from small things to big things,” Chareonwongsak said in his speech during the launch event.
“This freighter will cover more to connect the west of Southeast Asia better, and to take Southeast Asia to Asia-Pacific,” said the Teleport executive, adding that this aircraft model is the best in its class.
More planes coming
At a press conference during the launch, Chareonwongsak said they will initially have three A321Fs as part of their fleet within the year, with the overall goal of having a total of 10 in the next 18 months.
Capital A Berhad CEO Tony Fernandes said that AirAsia is leasing the A321Fs for a period of seven years and that the lease will be funded by Teleport.
“Right now, the leasing market is very competitive. And the interest rates are not stable so we decided to lease the aircraft,” Fernandes said when asked why they decided to go with leasing instead of buying and owning the aircraft.
“The Philippines is where we see Teleport to have a very big operation. Obviously AirAsia Philippines is doing most of Teleport’s work right now through the bellyspace,” said the company executive.
“But in the not-too-distant future, the 10 aircraft that we are talking about, some will be destined for the Philippines,” he said further.
“Our number one route, our whole volume, is in the Philippines. Davao to Manila. So, [the] Philippines is very, very important,” Chareonwongsak added, highlighting the importance of the Philippine market to the company.