AirAsia eyes Australia with stake in Indonesian carrier


KUALA LUMPUR - AirAsia has said it plans to fly to Australia with the acquisition of an Indonesian private airline.

Pahamin Rajab, AirAsia chairman, was quoted saying that Jakarta would be the hub for its joint-venture after it bought PT AWAir Internasional for a token US$2.

"We will be flying domestic routes in Indonesia and beyond. Our planes will go to places with a flying time of three and a half hours. Australia is within that flying time," he told reporters.

Pahamin said approvals from the Indonesian government were expected to be concluded by year-end. AirAsia would hold a 49 percent stake in the business and an Indonesian partner 51 percent.

It would be similar to that of Thai AirAsia, where Thai media and telecommunications group Shin Corp. holds a controlling 51 percent stake.

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