AirAsia's operations began in 1996 but the company's history really begins in 2001 when it was purchased by Tune Air for 1 ringgit. Since then Tony Fernandes has turned around the fortunes of the highly indebted company, riding the low cost wave to make it into the largest low cost airline in Asia. Using the 'Now Everyone Can Fly' slogan AirAsia has built an operation with extremely low cost and break-even factors, high utilisation and multiple affiliate companies across Asia.
The fleet now includes a stonking 188 Airbus A320s spread across the group's airlines with 82 at the original Malaysian arm. There are further outstanding orders for 42 A320s CEOs, 300 A320 NEOs and 100 A321 NEOs. The airline's livery is the usual brash low cost airline combination of brightness but it has also been very fond of special schemes. These have gone hand in hand with the several sponsorships it has in place - mainly with football clubs like Queens Park Rangers and formerly Manchester United. In 2014 it combined with one of the world's most successful musicians and announced a sponsorship with Taylor Swift to support her Red tour in Asia.
Now I'm not a big fan of her music and I doubt AirAsia is the type fo airline Ms Swift would fly (even if she ever had the need to fly on a commercial flight) but no doubt the collaboration was lucrative for both parties. At least the tour name matched AirAsia's primary colour! The announcement gave AirAsia the opportunity to paint up one of their many A320s into a special scheme with TAYLOR SWIFT in large titles on the fuselage and images of the popstar also.
The partnership was made in time for the last leg of Swift's Red tour which took in Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in June 2014. Bangkok was to have been a venue as well but the show was cancelled due to political unrest. As you'd expect AirAsia also managed to get Ms Swift to pose in person with her namesake jet and its hard to deny she's easy on the eye!
AirAsia also gave fans the chance to win exclusive Taylor Swift and AirAsia merchandise if they spotted the aircraft and used the hashtag #redhotairasia on Twitter or Instagram from June 12 until June 22, 2014. The aircraft itself was A320-216, 9M-AHM, one of the airline's earlier aircraft delivered in July 2008 having originally flown for the first time on June 11 as F-WWID. She originally wore AirAsia's standard red scheme prior to her repaint into the Swift scheme in May 2014. She wore the Taylor Swift scheme until at least July 2015 but has since been repainted into standard colours and continues to ply AirAsia's network from its hub at KLIA2 in Kuala Lumpur.
At the time of the promotion AirAsia commissioned an exclusive 1:400 scale model of the aircraft for its AirAsia Megastore made by JC Wings, however the model in this post is the recently made Panda models version on the superior Aeroclassics mould. As long time readers will know this aircraft doesn't fit my collecting criteria and she was merely passing through on her way to a new owner.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: