AirAsia X stated it is currently in talks with Middle Eastern investors, including institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds, for fresh capital to fund its European and African expansion plans (Reuters, 20-Aug-09). According to CEO, Azran Osman-Rani, the carrier requires a “stronger equity base after 2010”. The carrier plans to expand to destinations that are “unexploited, under-served”, including destinations in Spain, Scandinavia and East and North Africa.
AirAsia X in talks with Middle Eastern investors for new capital
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Mauritius Pt 1: Africa-Asia hub develops with Air Mauritius 12th Asian destination, AirAsia X launch
Mauritius is pursuing an ambitious hub development strategy aimed at positioning the small Indian Ocean country for transit traffic in the fast-growing Africa-Asia market. The government is investing in expansion and fleet renewal at Air Mauritius while also promoting the hub to other airlines.
Following the 12-Jul-2016 launch of Guangzhou services Air Mauritius has overtaken Ethiopian as the African airline with the largest Asia Pacific network. Air Mauritius is keen to continue expanding its operation in Asia and in parallel to develop its now limited African regional network to support Mauritius’ hub aspirations.
AirAsia X plans to launch services to Mauritius in Oct-2016, becoming the only Asian airline in the Mauritius market. Competition has already intensified in the market with the launch of services from Turkish Airlines, and Emirates' starting to deploy its high density 615-seat A380. The intensifying competition could threaten Air Mauritius' newfound profitability but the airline is also eager to forge new partnerships.
AirAsia X may relaunch London in 2017, potentially with ex-SriLankan A350s
Malaysia’s AirAsia X is considering the lease of A350s or 777-300ERs in 2017 to accelerate its return to Europe. A new widebody type will add cost and complexity but is necessary if the medium/long haul low cost airline is to meet its objective of relaunching London as soon as possible.
AirAsia X had been planning to wait until it receives A330-900neos before relaunching London and commencing other European routes. However the airline prefers not to wait until 2H2018, when its A330-900neo deliveries are slated to begin, and using another aircraft type in the interim mitigates the impact of a potential delay with the A330neo variant required for Kuala Lumpur-London.
AirAsia X could also use a new aircraft type – most likely A350-900s – to support new routes to the US. It plans to launch services from Japan to Hawaii in Jun-2017 using A330ceos, but also has longer-term plans for longer routes from Japan to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco – and potentially ultra-long haul routes from Malaysia to the US.