Tuesday, April 06, 2010

AirAsia X to expand flights

Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X will focus on growing flight frequencies to existing destinations in India, Melbourne and Perth this year.

"It has been challenging, (trying to get) new routes, so we are adding even more flights to destinations such as Melbourne and Perth," AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said.

AirAsia X has been lobbying for the Sydney and Seoul routes for more than a year now.

According to a news report, the low-cost carrier (LCC)'s plan to fly to both capitals by June this year were dashed when it did not get a formal word on the issue from the government.

"We have asked for the rights to fly to Jeddah too, due to demands by our customers, but that has also been held back," Azran said.

AirAsia X, which will accept delivery of three more A330s this year, will deploy them to the two Australian cities, with the absence of the new routes.

One of the airline's top priorities this year will be to get more rights to fly into Mumbai.

"In order for it to make economic sense, we need at least daily flights to Mumbai. We will wait for the next bilateral meeting to bring the matter up with the Indian government," Azran said.

AirAsia X will start flying to Mumbai in May, and is allowed to fly four times a week.

Azran was speaking after launching AirAsia X's new seat configuration for its aircraft, which involves the introduction of flatbed premium seats, which is said to be a first for a low-cost carrier.

AirAsia X will spend RM10 million for the refurbishment of each plane. The refurbishment will allow the airline's A330 to have a seat configuration of 12 flatbed premium and 365 economy seats.

The new configurations for the airline's A340 is 18 flatbed seats and 309 economy seats. The airline currently owns eight Airbus aircraft.

In conjunction with the launch, AirAsia X is offering a "Premium Seat Promotion" to all Citibank credit card holders in Malaysia.

On offer are flights from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, from RM999 one way, and Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne from RM1,499 one way.

The offer is available exclusively online for booking from April 6 to April 8 2010, for the travel period between April 12 2010 and February 13 2011.

Source : Bernama
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