AirAsia X stated it selected Abu Dhabi as its 'virtual' hub in the Middle East and credited its decision to launch services to the destination sooner than expected to Abu Dhabi Airports Company's (ADAC) persistence and willingness to work with the carrier to develop new markets (Emirates Business 24/7, 28-Aug-09). The carrier has postponed the launch of services to Amritsar, Delhi and Mumbai as a result.
AirAsia X selected Abu Dhabi as hub due to ADAC's persistence
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Philippine Airlines may cut Middle East capacity and network, and end Etihad partnership
Philippine Airlines (PAL) is considering reducing capacity to the Middle East in 2017 while expanding in several other international markets, including Australia, China and the US. Yields in all seven of the group’s Middle East markets – all of which have been launched over the last three years – have been impacted by intensifying competition and weaker outbound demand.
PAL could suspend services to Abu Dhabi and terminate its partnership with Etihad. The airline group has not benefitted significantly from its Etihad codeshare, and may be better off partnering with another airline.
However, PAL is keen to continue growing its international operation. PAL is about to add capacity to the US using two additional 777-300ERs, and plans to add capacity to Australia in late 2017 following delivery of its first batch of A321neoLRs. New destinations in Europe and the US are under consideration for 2018, using its new A350-900 fleet.
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.