Malaysia's AirAsia aims to raise $602 mln, to evaluate Japan operations

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 (Reuters) - AirAsia Group Bhd is looking to raise as much as 2.5 billion ringgit ($602 million) by year-end, and is also reviewing its business in Japan as the airline seeks to weather the COVID-19 crisis, its chief executive said on Monday.

Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes told Reuters in an interview that the group, Malaysia’s flagship budget airline, could raise up to 1.5 billion ringgit from bank loans and another 1 billion ringgit from investors.

Fernandes also said the group was evaluating its operations in Japan, although its partnership in India remained “as is”.

“I think Japan is something we have to really think hard about. If we had tonnes of cash, then it’s something we would probably continue. I think we will have decisions on Japan very soon,” he said, declining to elaborate.

As for long-haul arm AirAsia X’s pending aircraft orders, Fernandes said the group was discussing with Airbus to restructure its order book. ($1 = 4.1550 ringgit) (Reporting by Liz Lee; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)