AirAsia X, the Malaysian budget long-haul affiliate of Air Asia, is consolidating business in its core markets of China, Australia, Japan and Korea, according to CEO Azran Osman-Rani, who was speaking to AIN at the Low Cost Airlines World conference in Singapore last week.
In Europe, the airline has decided that costs such as the new emissions trading scheme (ETS), introduced from January 1 this year, were damaging its bottom line. Overall, the carrier announced recently that it would be withdrawing services from its loss-making routes to Paris, London, Mumbai and Delhi.
“We will be staying out of the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. for now,” Osman-Rani explained. Other setbacks for AirAsiaX have included delays in getting routes approved by the Malaysian government increased Malaysian visa regulations making it harder for Indian travelers to enter the country. In view of this, the carrier intends to focus on core routes such as Sydney and Tokyo.
Starting April 1, AirAsia X will fly daily from its hub in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport, which is its fourth Australian destination after Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Starting June 22, the carrier will operate daily flights from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo. It currently flies four times a week to the Japanese city of Osaka.
Meanwhile Azran said an additional five destinations would soon be added in China. The airline has 10 Airbus A350s on order, with deliveries to start in 2017.