KUALA LUMPUR — March 23, 2020: AirAsia shares pared down losses in early trade today amidst the Covid-19 pandemic which has badly affected the airline industry.
News that AirAsia co-founders Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun had been cleared from corruption allegations related to aircraft purchases from Airbus apparently helped the situation.
BDO Governance Advisory Sdn. Bhd., which was hired by the AirAsia board committee, had cleared the men from any wrongdoing, after which they were reinstated as group CEO and executive chairman.
As at 10.15 am, AirAsia was four sen lower to 64 cents compared to its earlier loss of 10 cents, with 36.93 million shares changing hands. Air Asia X was flat at five cents, with 3.83 million shares traded.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia on Friday, AirAsia and AAX said BDO had on March 16 presented their report on the findings of the independent internal inquiry.
BDO found that the group has a robust aircraft procurement process and that the acquisition of aircraft was justifiable and at prices favourable to the company and that its sponsorship of a motor-racing team by Airbus was disclosed to and supported by the board of AirAsia at the relevant time.
AirAsia and AAX were mentioned in a UK court document, which alleged Airbus SE of bribing two executives of the airlines with some US$50 million (RM207 million) in exchange for purchasing Airbus aircraft.