General Information

About the partnership between Credit Suisse and AirAsia

2001 was a tough time to be in the airline industry. Yet Tony Fernandes had just risked everything to relaunch an airline he’d bought for less than a dollar. 

As he slept in his office at Kuala Lumpur airport, with dreams of relaunching AirAsia as a budget airline, many questioned his timing, as much as his judgment.

Every other airline in the world was scaling back and cutting overheads, and AirAsia was cutting fares. None of the international banks were prepared to help him.

Except one. Credit Suisse's involvement with AirAsia began in 2002, with the $30 million private placement that would propel AirAsia not just into profit, but into expansion, with more aeroplanes, new routes and a second hub at Senai International Airport.

The bank has been involved in all of the airline's deals ever since, including the $227million IPO of 2004, for which Credit Suisse was the sole international book runner. And in little over a decade, Credit Suisse has helped AirAsia grow into the largest low cost carrier in the whole of Asia, with over 40 million passengers a year and more than 85 destinations across Asia, India, China and Australia.

What began with an initial investment of less than a dollar is now an airline group with a market cap of $4.5 billion.

Credit Suisse and AirAsia - Case Study

Credit Suisse and AirAsia have worked together for more than 10 years. Credit Suisse initially arranged the first capital raise of $30m for AirAsia and over time has worked with them to finance their rapid growth through various capital market transactions as well as debt financing, commodity derivatives and other advisory roles. The relationship developed because Credit Suisse believed in AirAsia and its leadership team from the outset – over the years they have stuck by them through the good times and the challenges to help the business achieve its remarkable growth 

Case study (PDF)


"No-one believed that I'd get AirAsia off the ground, no-one, except Credit Suisse"
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