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AirAsia X becomes first LCC to offer low-cost flatbed seats, as expansion rolls on

24-Jun-2010
AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani
AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani

AirAsia X has become the first LCC to offer flatbed seats on its long-haul route network, with the low-cost long-haul carrier claiming that its product "combines the comfort of premium travel with the affordability of no-frills flying". The new Premium FlatBed and economy class seating product was installed this month on its A340 aircraft operating on the Kuala Lumpur-London sector, ahead of a fleet-wide roll out.

AirAsia X premium product

London Stansted Commercial and Development Director, Nick Barton, called the product the "next evolution" of low-cost flying, adding that it would revolutionise air travel "between Europe, Asia and beyond".

To have highest-density configuration on both A340 and A330 equipment in the region

The new configuration for the AirAsia X A340 is 18 flatbed seats (30 currently) and 309 economy seats (256 currently), for a total of 327 seats (286 currently), which will make it the highest-density A340 configuration in the region (compared to mid-range at present). The carrier also upgraded its economy class seating, to feature reclineable seats at 31” pitch equipped with adjustable headrests. The airline also decided to move away from traditional black leather to a mix of red and grey.

Asia Pacific carriers’ A340 seating configurations: Jun-2010

Operator

Aircraft Type

Seats

In Service

Total

China Eastern Airlines

A340-300

322

5

5

SriLankan Airlines

A340-300

314

3

3

SriLankan Airlines

A340-300

313

2

2

Air Tahiti Nui

A340-300

294

5

5

Air China

A340-300

291

6

6

China Eastern Airlines

A340-300

287

5

5

AirAsia X

A340-300

286

2

2

Hainan Airlines

A340-600

286

3

3

Safi Airways

A340-300

286

1

1

Cathay Pacific

A340-300

283

11

11

China Airlines

A340-300

276

6

6

Thai Airways

A340-600

267

6

6

Philippine Airlines

A340-300

264

4

4

Thai Airways

A340-500

215

4

4

Singapore Airlines

A340-500

100

5

5

Total

   

68

68

Refurbishment process to be competed by Jul-2011

AirAsia X is currently upgrading its entire fleet with the new seats in stages for all long-haul flights to Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Taipei, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Chengdu, London, Mumbai and New Delhi.

The refurbishment process is expected to be completed by Jul-2011 and will allow AirAsia X’s A330 to have a seat configuration of 12 flatbed premium seats (28 currently) and 365 economy seats (355 currently), for a total of 377 seats (compared to 383 currently on five of its six A330-300s in service). With the new configuration, AirAsia X will remain the highest-density A330 operator in the region, giving it a 20% unit cost advantage over its nearest rival, Vietnam Airlines on seating density alone. Add in higher utilisation rates and the advantage could be 30-50% over rivals flying the same aircraft type.

This is an excerpt from an article, available for CAPA Members or by Individual Purchase, that contains the following sections/analysis:

  • Table: Asia Pacific carriers’ A330 seating totals: Jun-2010
  • Fares at a fraction of network carriers’ premium product; but missing some of the frills
  • AirAsia X Premium product
  • How AirAsia X's product compares
  • Table: Asia Pacific carriers’ A340 configurations
  • IPO on the agenda for 2011; to become standalone airline Network news,
  • Sydney, Haneda, Narita and Europe in focus
  • Table: AirAsia X future aircraft deliveries: 2010 to 2018

Access the full report now!


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