Malaysia's AirAsia Group plans to aggressively expand into the restaurant business as the biggest budget carrier by fleet in Southeast Asia is aiming to turn itself into a lifestyle brand, its group chief executive said on Monday.
AirAsia aims to open five restaurants and franchise 100 cafes over the next three to five years globally, said Group CEO Tony Fernandes. The company plans to open outlets in China soon through franchisees and has received a proposal for a master franchise in Australia, he said.
AirAsia on Monday opened its first quick-service restaurant and cafe, based on the airline’s inflight Santan menu and T&Co coffee, in a mega-mall in Mid Valley, a central shopping haven in Kuala Lumpur.
"We can't be a lifestyle brand without food," Fernandes said at a news conference following the launch of the company's first fast-food restaurant. "Our airline food has been successful. [We are] the first airline ever to commercialize food."
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