Friday, February 3, 2012

2012: Tokyo Daily! AirAsia X To Fly Seven Times A Week From Kuala Lumpur To Tokyo

Long Haul, Low Cost Carrier to offer guests RM199 one way, all inclusive fares from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo (Haneda) to commemorate additional frequency.

Sepang, 30 January 2012

AirAsia X, the Malaysian based long haul, low fare affiliate of AirAsia will increase its flight frequency to Tokyo (Haneda), Japan from its current three flights to six flights weekly effective from 23 March, 2012.

From 22 June, 2012, AirAsia X will operate daily flights from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur to the Japanese capital.

In addition, AirAsia X currently flies four times weekly to Osaka (Kansai).

The increase in frequency is part of the airline's realignment plan announced recently which will focus on increasing services to its core markets in Australasia, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. The increase in flight frequencies to Tokyo (Haneda) follows AirAsia X's recent announcement of its Australian route to Sydney, which will see AirAsia X commencing services from Kuala Lumpur from April 1, 2012.

To-date, AirAsia X has flown over 100,000 passengers to Tokyo (Haneda) with an average passenger load factor of 75%. The airline incurred a drop in passenger traffic from March to June 2011 due to the Tohoku tragedy. However, the demand for the route has rebounded back to normal with healthy two-way traffic consistently above 80%.

Commenting on the added frequency, AirAsia X Chief Executive Officer, Azran Osman-Rani said "The increase in flights to and from Tokyo is in response to the growing demand for the sector, which continues to see steady increase in passenger traffic and yields from the time AirAsia X first began flying into the Japanese city on December 9, 2010.

"With our wide network and strong brand affinity in Japan, we remain focused to grow our existing core markets and are geared up to capitalise on the continuous increase in demand for air travel to and from Japan. We will also leverage on our affiliate airline, AirAsia to provide a feeder network for intra-ASEAN travel as the world shifts its focus towards Asia and the emerging markets across ASEAN,

To commemorate the additional flight frequencies to Japan, AirAsia X is offering guests a promotional all in fare from as low as RM199 one way on Economy to Tokyo from Kuala Lumpur. Those looking to fly with extra comfort to Japan, AirAsia X Premium fly flatbed seats are also on offer from as low as RM999 all in one way from Kuala Lumpur to the city.

Guests from Japan may experience AirAsia X's fly thru flights which offers seamless onward flight connections from Kuala Lumpur to popular South East Asian destinations such as Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket) and Indonesia (Medan, Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya).

Similarly, AirAsia X's South East Asian guests may also enjoy our fly thru flights to Tokyo with our promotional fares from as low as THB4490 all-in, one way from Thailand, IDR969,000 all-in, one way from Indonesia and SGD139 all-in, one way from Singapore.

All low fare deals for this promotion are only available for the added flight frequencies to Tokyo and up for grabs exclusively on www.airasia.com from 27 January– 13 February 2012 for the travel period from 23 March to 27 October 2012.

For continuous updates on our latest promotions, contests and cool activities throughout the region, be a fan of AirAsia's Facebook page (facebook.com/AirAsia) and follow AirAsia's Twitter at twitter.com/AirAsia.- Air Asia Promo 2012


FLIGHT SCHEDULE FOR ADDED FLIGHT FREQUENCIES FOR KUALA LUMPUR - TOKYO
Flight NoDestinationFlight Departure/ArrivalDayRemarks
D7 522Kuala Lumpur - Haneda14:30 /22:302 4 7Current flights
D7 523Haneda- Kuala Lumpur23:45/06:10 (+1day)2 4 7
D7 522Kuala Lumpur - Haneda14:45/23:001 3New Flights *promotional fares are only applicable to the flights in this section  
D7 523Haneda- Kuala Lumpur23:55/06:20 (+1day)1 3
D7 524Kuala Lumpur - Haneda15:30/23:306
D7 525Haneda- Kuala Lumpur01:30/07:557
D7 524Kuala Lumpur - Haneda15:30/23:305 6
D7 525Haneda- Kuala Lumpur01:30/07:556 7

2012: AirAsia X Re-aligns Network To Focus On Core Markets

Developments in Global Economy, Soaring Taxes and Higher Jet Fuel Prices leads long haul low-cost carrier to increase focus on core markets

Kuala Lumpur, 12 January 2012

AirAsia X, the long haul, low fare affiliate of AirAsia, today announced a realignment of its network with a focus on its core markets.

The move will see AirAsia X withdrawing services to India (Mumbai and Delhi) and Europe (Paris, London) from its Kuala Lumpur hub as follows:

• Mumbai- Four weekly services will be suspended with the last flight on 31 January, 2012
• New Delhi- Daily services will be suspended with the last flight on 22 March, 2012. Flights in March will be reduced to four weekly services.
• London- Six weekly services will be suspended with the last flight on 31 March, 2012
• Paris- Four weekly services will be suspended with the last flight on 30 March, 2012
AirAsia X will offer guests who hold bookings after these dates an alternative travel option at no additional cost to mitigate the inconvenience caused as a result of these route withdrawals.

All affected guests will receive an e-mail stating options that are available to them, including a full refund, a reroute to another AirAsia X destination (e.g, in Australia and North Asia), or a move to an alternative carrier where available.

These changes will improve operating cost efficiencies and consolidate its network to focus on markets where it can build a leadership position in 2012.

Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X said “AirAsia X remains focused on maintaining its global leadership position in the low cost, long-haul segment. We intend to concentrate capacity in our core markets of Australasia, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea where we have built up stable, profitable routes within an infrastructure that supports low cost services. We intend to open up new routes within these markets, as well as add frequencies on existing routes. Announcements of our future expansion plans will be made soon.”

“The continued high jet fuel prices and the weakening demand for air travel from Europe, brought about by the current economic situation together with exorbitant government taxes, have placed cost pressures on operating long-haul low cost flights between Asia and Europe, compromising our ability to offer the low fares AirAsia X is known for.”

He adds, “The implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme and the escalating Air Passenger Duty taxes in UK, which will rise yet again in April 2012 has forced our decision to withdraw our services to Europe.”

“As for Delhi and Mumbai, the continued visa restrictions for travel between India and Malaysia, and the increase in airport and handling charges have resulted in a structure not conducive to the low cost model.”

Azran concluded that, "The airline is hopeful in reinstating services to India once these structural issues can be resolved."

Note: Further details on AirAsia X's withdrawal of Europe and India destinations:


Europe (London and Paris)

AirAsia X started flights to London in March 2009. At that time, oil prices were less than US$40/barrel, and have since tripled. With the Arab Spring unrest of 2011 spilling over to the unrests in Syria and Iranian oil embargo this year, oil prices are expected to remain high and crippling the economics of long-haul flights, where fuel represents over 50% of operating cost.

Moreover, the European situation is also compounded by a very weak economy and depressed consumer demand, which has resulted in a reduction in the number of passengers from Europe on the flights over the past several months. Flights to Europe have also been burdened by exorbitant government taxes such as the UK Air Passenger Duty which will be increased to £92 per departing economy passenger and £184 per departing Premium passenger from 1 April 2012. From 1 January 2012, the European Governments have also imposed an additional carbon tax under their Emissions Trading Scheme, which further adds to an already high cost.

The confluence of macro-factors, including high fuel prices, depressed European economy and exorbitant taxes have made it economically impossible to sustain these flights, despite AirAsia X recording load factors of over 80% for its London and Paris flights in 2011. Attempts to increase fares to reflect the higher operating cost recently have shown the price elasticity of travel, with demand falling down adversely.


India (Mumbai and New Delhi)

AirAsia X launched flights to Mumbai and Delhi in 2010. Structural issues in the Indian aviation market have made it difficult to operate economically viable flights. The airport and handling costs in New Delhi and Mumbai are already more expensive than even airports in Australia, and the authorities have just approved a massive 280% increase in airport fees effective April 2012.

The Indian routes have also been under-pressure when the Malaysian Government removed Visa-on-Arrival facilities in August 2010, soon after the routes were launched. This places Malaysia at a significant disadvantage versus Thailand and Singapore who offer Indian tourists convenient Visa-on-Arrival facilities.