AirAsia has responded, from The Star:
AirAsia rebuts claims it condones "accounting gimmicks"
AirAsia believes that consolidating its associate companies would reflect its actual performance and financial position. However, it is not allowed to have legal control or legal power over its associate companies. This is due to aviation regulations in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and India. “Power in practice is, however, not legal control,” it said. It added that any change in its relationship with the associate companies, that gives AirAsia legal control, would result in a loss of the associates’ airline operating licences.
That might be true from a legal point of view, but what would prevent AirAsia to present its consolidated numbers anyhow, in an added commentary?
I would like to refer to the Owner's Manual from Berkshire Hathaway, paragraph 6:
We attempt to offset the shortcomings of conventional accounting by regularly reporting "look-through" earnings (though, for special and nonrecurring reasons, we occasionally omit them). The look-through numbers include Berkshire's own reported operating earnings, excluding capital gains and purchase-accounting adjustments (an explanation of which occurs later in this message) plus Berkshire's share of the undistributed earnings of our major investees - amounts that are not included in Berkshire's figures under conventional accounting. From these undistributed earnings of our investees we subtract the tax we would have owed had the earnings been paid to us as dividends. We also exclude capital gains, purchase-accounting adjustments and extraordinary charges or credits from the investee numbers.
In AirAsia's case, the share of earnings of its investees would be hugely negative for the past years. Including them in "look-through" earnings would have given a more realistic picture of its performance.