Tony Fernandes promoting AirAsia

After the killing of 162 people in an AirAsia crash and the unhappiness caused by the cancellation of AirAsia X Bali flights the group’s founder Tony Fernandes might do the travelling public the courtesy of being careful in his timing of trans Tasman flight plan announcements.

Mr Fernandes has tweeted that he is ‘looking’ at Australia-New Zealand flights.

Anyone can fly the route provided they meet the regulatory requirements at both ends. The trans Tasman routes are about as open to competition as any on earth.

There is also no doubting that AirAsia’s various brands or franchises would be very good for tourism. Fernandes has an outstanding record when it comes to generating  and meeting demand for good value air travel.

It’s just that after the Java Sea disaster, cause unknown, last December, in which an Indonesia franchised AirAsia A320 plunged out of control on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore killing everyone on board, and the Indonesian long haul franchise for AirAsia X wrecked the plans of holiday makers by cancelling its Melbourne-Denpasar services without, so far, publicly disclosed satisfactory compensation, people are alarmed or very annoyed.

The resolution of the causes of the accident, and the satisfactory settling of all of the outstanding claims arising from these two rather different events, surely needs to be achieved before AirAsia seeks to variously build on its successes, or on the existing routes to Australia, tries to curb its losses.

It will be interesting to see whether AirAsia gets a cut and paste PR run in the general media, or gets held to account over unfinished business.

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