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AirAsia plans state tie-up to bring low-cost model to China

来源:FT中文网    2017-05-16 17:31

        AirAsia, the Malaysian low-cost carrier, is planning to enter China, one of the last untapped markets for budget airlines, in a joint venture with the government of Henan province and Everbright, the state-owned conglomerate.        马来西亚廉价航空公司亚洲航空(AirAsia)正计划进入中国,与河南省政府和国有综合性企业光大(Everbright)组建一家合资公司。对廉价航空公司来说,中国市场是最后一批尚未开发的市场之一。
        Tony Fernandes, the co-founder and chief executive of AirAsia, signed a memorandum of understanding with his potential Chinese partners on Sunday on the sidelines of the Belt and Road forum in Beijing.        上周日,亚航联合创始人兼首席执行官托尼•费尔南德斯(Tony Fernandes)在“一带一路”(Belt and Road)北京论坛间歇与潜在的中方合作伙伴签署了一份谅解备忘录。
        Under the proposal, which is likely to face opposition from China’s three dominant state-owned airlines, AirAsia and its Chinese partners would establish a budget airline, pilot training centre and aircraft maintenance facility in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan.        根据该计划,亚航及其中方合作伙伴将在河南省会郑州市设立一家廉价航空公司,并建立飞行员培训中心和飞机维修设施。该计划很可能会遭到中国三大国有航空公司的反对。
        “Zhengzhou sits at the centre of a vast rail, highway and air transport network that forms the linchpin of China’s development plans for its central and western regions,” said Mr Fernandes, who has been trying to enter the Chinese market for years.        多年来,费尔南德斯一直试图进入中国市场。他表示:“郑州位于庞大的铁路、高速公路和航空运输网的核心,该网络是中国中西部地区发展规划的关键元素”。
        China is forecast to overtake the US as the world’s biggest air travel market by 2024 but budget carriers have made little headway so far because of the dominance of the big three state players: Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.        预计到2024年,中国将超过美国成为世界最大的航空旅行市场,但由于中国国际航空(Air China)、中国东方航空(China Eastern Airlines)、中国南方航空(China Southern Airlines)这三家国有巨头占据了主导地位,廉价航空公司在中国市场迄今几乎没有取得什么进展。
        Low-cost carriers such as AirAsia and China’s Spring Airlines control less than 10 per cent of the Chinese market, compared to 56 per cent in Southeast Asia, 40 per cent in Europe and 32 per cent in the US, according to AirAsia.        亚航表示,亚航及中国春秋航空(Spring Airlines)等廉价航空公司在中国市场的份额还不到10%,而在东南亚为56%,在欧洲为40%,在美国为32%。
        While China is an enticing prize, analysts warned that it is a risky market for AirAsia, which is already struggling to build new businesses in India, Japan and Vietnam, and faces problems in markets such as Indonesia because of its rapid expansion.        分析师警告称,虽然中国市场是个诱人的桃子,但对亚航来说却是一个高风险市场。亚航在在印度、日本和越南建立新业务方面已然感到吃力,而且由于扩张太快,它在印度尼西亚等市场遭遇了问题。
        Unlike Europe, which has an integrated air travel market, most Asian nations bar foreign investors from majority ownership of airlines. That has required AirAsia to execute financially complicated and politically delicate joint ventures to expand beyond its home market.        与拥有一体化航空旅行市场的欧洲不同,亚洲国家大多禁止外国投资者拥有本国航空公司的多数股权。这就要求亚航设立财务上复杂、政治上敏感的合资企业,来实现海外扩张。
        “The risk for AirAsia is that it’s spreading itself very thin,” said Corrine Png, a transport analyst at Crucial Perspective, a research house in Singapore. “They have found good partners but it’s harder to operate a low-cost carrier in China than in Southeast Asia.”        新加坡研究机构Crucial Perspective运输业分析师方华婷(Corrine Png)表示:“亚航的风险在于它把自己摊得太薄。他们找到了不错的合作伙伴,但在中国运营廉价航空公司比在东南亚困难。”
        China is suffering an acute pilot shortage, she said, which explains why AirAsia intends to build its own flight school in Zhengzhou. In addition, unlike the “fat and lazy” state-owned incumbents that AirAsia faced in Southeast Asia over the last 15 years, China’s “big three” carriers have large fleets of the latest, most fuel-efficient aircraft and are likely to use predatory pricing and their political leverage to stymie AirAsia.        她说,中国飞行员严重短缺,这就是为什么亚航打算在郑州建立自己的飞行学校。此外,与亚航过去15年在东南亚面对的“臃肿而懒惰”的国有老牌航空公司不同,中国“三大”航空公司拥有大批最新型、最省油的飞机,而且很可能会利用掠夺性定价和它们手中的政治杠杆来阻碍亚航。
        “The China unit will be complex because there is local government support implied but competitors will lobby for protectionism at other levels,” said Will Horton, an analyst at the Centre for Aviation in Hong Kong.        亚太航空中心(CAPA)驻香港分析师威尔•霍顿(Will Horton)表示:“中国业务会很复杂,因为虽然有地方政府的暗地支持,但竞争对手会在其他层面游说当局采取保护主义。”
        In an attempt to boost its political credentials in China, AirAsia announced the joint venture proposal during the Belt and Road forum, a high-level initiative designed to promote infrastructure investment connecting China with the rest of Asia and beyond. It said it also was “exploring” the possibility of using the Comac C919, China’s rival to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, which had its maiden test flight earlier this month.        为了在中国获得更大的政治信任,亚航在“一带一路”(Belt and Road)论坛期间宣布了上述合资计划。“一带一路”是一项高级别倡议,旨在促进把中国同亚洲其余地区乃至更多地区连接起来的基础设施投资。亚航表示,它还将“探索”使用中国商飞(Comac) C919客机的可能性。C919是中国用来与空客(Airbus) A320和波音(Boeing) 737竞争的机型,于本月早些时候进行了首次试飞。
        Mr Horton said that while it was too early to say if this would happen, there would be “huge political wins” in ordering the C919 even if it resulted in higher costs for AirAsia.        霍顿表示,虽然现在谈论是否订购C919还为时过早,但若能成行,将是“巨大的政治胜利”,即使它导致亚航成本上升。

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