Tony Fernandes, the chief executive of Air Asia Group, has expressed his interest in establishing a joint-venture airline in China to tap into the country’s growing travel industry.

“I believe there is a strong chance of that happening so we have to wait and see,” said Fernandes to CNBCbut made the point that it is still early days and finding the right partner will take some time.

The China market accounted for nearly 19 per cent of Air Asia’s revenue in 2015. The Malaysia-based low-cost carrier currently serves 15 Chinese destinations, and is actively looking to expand its presence in the country.

However, Fernandes has reiterated that his airline is not looking to operate flights to China’s largest cities but is instead focused on secondary markets that offer good growth potential.

“We are not interested in developing what has already been developed… what we have been good at is developing new markets, new traffic, and opening up different parts of China,” he said.

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Clement Huang