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Sound Familiar? Change of Brand for Awair

Reflecting the Business Model of its Malaysian Shareholders, Indonesia's Awair Now Calls itself Indonesia AirAsia.

(12/5/2005) Awair - an Indonesian domestic air carrier rescued following a 30-month suspension of service in December 2004 when the Malaysian low-cost airline Air Asia purchased a 49% share in the company for US$2, has metamorphosed further following a legal name change registered with the Indonesian department of Justice in September.

More than Mere Look-a-Likes?

The legal change of the airline's name from PT Awair International to PT Indonesia AirAsia will now allows the Indonesian carrier to fly aircraft with liveries that are virtually identical to its minority owner Air Asia with whom it now shares a common branding.

That the Indonesian and Malaysian companies intend to become almost indistinguishable to consumers is further evidenced by the fact that those trying to link to the old Awair web site are now automatically redirected to the AirAsia.com web site.

The change of name and official registry with the Indonesian Justice Department, have also been officially recorded with the Indonesian Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) and the Indonesian Department of Civil Aviation, meaning that the Indonesian fleet of aircraft operate as look-a-likes of the huge armada of aircraft flown by their Malaysian part owners. That the Indonesian version of AirAsia is now sold from a common web site with the Malaysian AirAsia will provide substantial mutual market access to the domestic air travelers served by both airlines.

The latest move resembles the fast-growing Malaysian carrier's business model of "purchasing" access into key domestic air markets in the region, demonstrated in the establishment of Thai AirAsia - a joint venture established in late 2004 between the fast-growing Malaysian budget carrier and the Shin Corp, a conglomerate affiliated to Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's family.

Indonesian law prohibits more than a 49% ownership share in any domestic transportation company.