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Way cleared for low-cost flights to US and London

January 27, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Extremely competitive airfares from Australia to Hawaii and the US mainland are in the wind now that the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has cleared Malaysia-based low-cost carrier AirAsia X to fly to any point in the US.

The airline has become the first Asian low-cost carrier to secure approval to operate scheduled passenger flights to the US.

It is also looking at resuming flights to London. It used to fly there but pulled out early in 2012, withdrawing services to Delhi, Mumbai and Paris as well, citing high fuel prices, “exorbitant” taxes, and weak travel demand.

From 2018 the airline will take delivery of 66 new Airbus A330neo aircraft, which will be much more economical on the London route than the A340 it used last time.

The focus on the US and London signals a shift by AirAsia’s long-haul, low-cost sister airline away from concentrating on Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.

AirAsia X is currently considering flights to several US states including Hawaii as part of its route expansion plans.

AirAsia X Group chief executive Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said, “This is a major milestone for AirAsia X. Our expansion up until now has concentrated on Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, and we are excited about our first foray into an entirely new market as we look beyond Asia Pacific.”

“I’m confident travellers will respond well to our award-winning service and the kind of connectivity we can offer with our Fly-Thru product. As part of our expansion plans, we are also looking to resume our very popular London route, and are working towards securing the necessary approvals.”

Fly-Thru is the airline’s term for its ability to let passengers connect seamlessly to anywhere within AirAsia’s network with just one stop at Kuala Lumpur or other transit hubs in Thailand and Indonesia, without having to pass through immigration and with their baggage checked through to the final destination.

Announcing the US breakthrough, Meranun paid tribute to the airline’s group chief operating officer Anaz Ahmad Tajuddin, who died two weeks ago.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today if he had not laid the foundations with his blood, sweat and tears, and his bravery in the face of cancer showed us the true meaning of strength. This is for you, Anaz.”

AirAsia Group boasts an extensive route network to over 120 destinations in Asia Pacific. From Australia, AirAsia X flies daily to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Perth (14 flights per week) Sydney (17 flights per week), Melbourne (18 flights per week), Gold Coast (11 flights per week) and Auckland (7 flights per week).

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Great. 25hrs to London on the Asian equivalent of Jetstar. Can hardly wait.

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