Following the COVID-19 downturn, AirAsia X is working to restore its network by launching additional long-haul services to Istanbul, Dubai, and London by year’s end.
The low-cost airline reported on its quarterly results on 24 August that it was operating five Airbus A330 aircraft out of a fleet of eleven A330s while rebuilding after the COVID-19 pandemic. There are now scheduled flights to Seoul, South Korea and Delhi, India, with plans to expand to Sydney, Australia and Tokyo, Japan, by year’s end.
“In the next months, we will be reactivating more aircraft to return to popular medium-haul leisure destinations in Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia,” acting group CEO Tony Fernandes said. By the end of the year, “we will also be launching new short-haul routes to Bali for the first time, and additional exciting new long-haul destinations to Istanbul, Dubai, and London.”
The low-cost airline used to fly to London but stopped doing so in 2009 due to rising fuel costs and low passenger demand.
By “the early part of the calendar year 2023 to fulfil robust consumer demand,” AirAsia X plans to have 15 A330 aircraft in service. That’s a minor setback from June 2022, when the airline’s leadership announced they were flying six A330s at the time and planned to have 15 of the Airbus aircraft in service by the end of 2022.
As for China, which has had some of the tightest COVID-19 travel restrictions, Fernandes said there were promising signals for the country even before 2023 when the airline expects to restart daily services to most destinations.
As demand for travel increases, AirAsia X has resumed service, bringing three new routes and its low-cost long-haul offerings.
With the backing of Capital A Group, AirAsia X plans to expand, and CEO Tony Fernandes has promised further details on this relationship in due time. AirAsia X is a member of AirAsia Aviation Group Limited, the airline division of Capital A.
As Fernandes put it, “we will be able to rely on the competencies within Capital A Group in terms of commercial requirements, cargo flight operations, and technical maintenance requirements, to mention a few”, to keep Air Asia X expenses low as it begins operations again.
For the three months ending 30 June, AirAsia X reported a loss before tax of RM652 million (AU$208 million) but said it would have returned to profit if not for the expenses incurred in distributing travel vouchers to customers for flights that were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The CEO of AirAsia X Malaysia, Benyamin Ismail, has stated that the airline is well on its way to recovery despite the high cost of oil and the restrictions placed on travel to major markets like China, Japan, and Taiwan.
Even though the last two years have been the worst in aviation history, we are better than ever and ready to take on whatever the future brings. To fulfil the significant pent-up demand, we plan to resume services to everyone’s favourite medium-haul destinations in the coming months. We also want to add additional longer-haul destinations to offer our customers more value and choice.