November 9, 2011 / 1:16 AM / in 6 years

AirAsia's Fernandes to start new premium airline-paper

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes will set up a new premium regional airline that will compete head-on with Qantas’ upcoming RedQ full-service carrier, the Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday quoting unnamed sources.

The report said Fernandes’ new full-service-carrier will likely be called Caterham Jet and has yet to be granted an operating licence by the Malaysian government although it has secured Bombardier CRJ aircraft.

The report quoted a source as saying that the airline will propose to the government that it operates from the Subang airport near Kuala Lumpur and is targeted to start operations in May 2012.

“Some of the proposed routes include Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore,” said the unnamed source.

Fernandes, who is team principal of Formula One racing outfit Team Lotus, in April purchased British sportscar manufacturer Caterham Cars.

AirAsia and Fernandes were not immediately available for comment.

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