(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd. is weighing options for its long-haul unit AirAsia X Bhd. including introducing a financial investor to help shore up the unit’s finances, according to people familiar with the matter.
The budget carrier is also studying alternatives including getting support from Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, or integrating AirAsia X into the group, the people said. Shuttering AirAsia X could also be one of the options, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.
AirAsia has been in talks with investment banks for strategic options for the long-haul unit, which reported a net loss of about 490 million ringgit ($113 million) in 2019, the people said. The discussions began even before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted global travel, one of the people said. Bond issuance to boost the unit’s financing has also been considered, the person said.
Deliberations are at an early stage and the company hasn’t made final decisions on the course of actions, the people said. A representative for AirAsia declined to comment, while a representative for Khazanah didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Malaysia is exploring the possibility of bailing out domestic airlines hit by the outbreak, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday. One of the ideas being explored is setting up a vehicle to take over the debt of companies like Malaysia Airlines Bhd. and AirAsia, the people said.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.