Sunday, 12 August 2012

More Asian Connections

On August 9, AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of Asia’s biggest discount carrier of AirAsia announced an additional lease deal of another 6 Airbus 330-300 aircraft from International Lease Finance Corp. This brings the total order of Airbus 330-300 to 31 aircraft. AirAsia X will lease the six aircraft on a 10-year lease term. The new lease deal will further complement the AirAsia Group’s long-term vision of developing its presence in key markets in Asia.

AirAsia X’s Fleet:
Aircraft: In Service: Orders (Options): Seats:
Premium Economy Total:
Airbus 330-300 9* 23 12 365 377
Airbus 330-200 --- 3 --- --- ---
Airbus 350-900 XWB --- 10 (5) --- --- ---
*Include one-leased aircraft, 9M-XAA

Since dropping the Paris and London route at the beginning of the year, AirAsia X has focus on serving destinations across the Asia-Pacific region. Together with Paris and London, flights to Christchurch were also cancelled by AirAsia X back in April. Flights to New Dehli and Mumbai in India also suffer the cut during the beginning of the year. High operating cost in India forces AirAsia X to cancel their service to India.

AirAsia X operates 9 Airbus 330-300 aircraft to 13 destinations across Asia-Pacific region. 

AirAsia X hopes to serve destinations that can be served by a 4-8 hours flight from their home based at Kuala Lumpur. This is a change of strategy as AirAsia X incurs heavy losses for their flights to Europe. AirAsia X is losing RM20 million (USD$ 6.25 million) a year alone on their London route which is due to high operating cost of their Airbus 340-300 aircraft which operate the route. The new strategy is able to have a better turnaround time so that the airline’s new Airbus 330-300 aircraft is fully utilized. Operating flights around Asia-Pacific allows the airline to increase the efficiency of its new Airbus 330-300.

AirAsia X’s Current Destinations: (All flights operated by Airbus 330-300)
Destinations: Country: Frequency:
Gold Coast Australia 5 Weekly
Melbourne Australia Daily
Sydney Australia Daily
Perth Australia 9 Weekly
Kathmandu Nepal 2 Weekly
Seoul South Korea Daily
Osaka-Kansai Japan 4 Weekly
Tokyo-Haneda Japan 4 Weekly
Hangzhou China Daily
Chengdu China 4 Weekly
Beijing China Daily
Taipei Taiwan 11 Weekly
Tehran Iran 4 Weekly

Flights to London, Paris, Mumbai, New Dehli and Christchurch which was discontinued at the beginning of the year is unlikely to resume any time soon. The airline will continue its strategy of focusing on flights in the Asia-Pacific region. This means that more Asia connections from Kuala Lumpur are expected. Flights to Europe will be considered by the airline after the arrival of the new Airbus 350-900 XWB (not before 2016) which guaranteed lower cost of operating compare to the Airbus 340-300 aircraft. Here is a list of future destinations to be served by AirAsia X.

AirAsia X’s Likely Future Points:
Adelaide Australia Adelaide is the last remaining major city in Australia that is missing from AirAsia X’s network. Emirates Airline has recently announced new daily flights to the city. While in Asia, Malaysia Airline, Singapore Airline and Cathay Pacific all served daily flights to the city.
Jeddah Saudi Arabia There is a large number of Muslims from Malaysia and South East Asia going to Jeddah, the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city to take part in the rituals. An even high passenger volume is expected during the annual Hajj.
Japan A new Japan destination is possible to be served soon especially with the new establishment of AirAsia Japan, a JV with All Nippon Airways (ANA). There’s no direct flight to either 2 cities from Malaysia since Malaysia Airline drop these 2 routes a few years back.
China A new Chinese destination is definitely on the cards. These 3 cities are situated around the center part of China which are a new region airlines across the world is exploring. Both these three cities have big domestic traffic at their respective airports. Xian ranked 8th, Chongqing ranked 9th, while Wuhan ranked 14th in terms of total passengers volume in China.

AirAsia X’s Airbus 330-300 (9M-XXF) carrying the livery of “Malaysia, Truly Asia” departing for a flight back to Kuala Lumpur. 

Middle East destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha is highly unlikely to be served by AirAsia X due the enormous presence of the “Middle East Big 3” at their respective hub. Air Asia X cancelled their service to Abu Dhabi a few months after commencing a few years back. Flights to India will be considered by the airline if the cost of operating at India is low. Not only foreign carriers facing this problem, 5 out of the 6 major airlines in India suffered heavy losses last year.

There is a possibility that AirAsia X might return to New Zealand. Possibly operating flights to the largest city in New Zealand-Auckland rather than flying to Christchurch. Auckland is served by almost every major carrier in Asia including SIA, MAS, Thai, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and Emirates. In future, China, Korea, Japan and Australia will still be AirAsia X’s core market in the future.

(The Editor)


1 comment:

  1. eToro is the ultimate forex broker for newbie and full-time traders.