AirAsia X announced (26-Aug-2013) plans to increase frequency from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to double daily in 4Q2013. AirAsia X will increase its frequency to Sydney and Melbourne from 12 weekly and Perth from its current nine times weekly to 14 times weekly, with the frequency increase to Melbourne to commence from 01-Oct-2013 and to Sydney and Perth from 25-Nov-2013. The announcement follows the finalisation of a revised bilateral agreement between the Australian and Malaysian governments and an expansion of AirAsia X’s long-haul fleet of A330-300s which will comprise 16 aircraft at the end of Dec-2013. AirAsia X is expected to become Australia’s fourth largest foreign carrier by the end of 2013 as it allocates its additional capacity for the remainder of the year to the market. AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said, “Overall, the airline has carried over 3.4 million passengers to and from its Australian routes since it began operations in Australia in 2007. Australia contributes over 40% of the airline’s total revenue, with an average of 83% passenger load in the first half of 2013. We are delighted to increase the current flights to double daily flights on our Australian routes. Our flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth routes have performed extremely well and the new double daily services will help meet increasing demand....Australia is a huge part of our core focus, and Australians can expect to see us continuing to expand our operations in this vitally important market". [more - original PR]
AirAsia X to launch double daily services from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth
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Southeast Asia-US market Part 3: new nonstops need to overcome stiff one-stop FSC & LCC competition
Southeast Asian airlines are seeking to capture a larger share of the Southeast Asia-US market over the next few years as they launch new flights to the US. Three of the region’s flag carriers and at least one long haul LCC are planning to launch flights to the US, intensifying competition in an already fiercely competitive market.
Southeast Asian airlines currently account for less than a 20% share of the total Southeast Asia-US market. Philippine Airlines and Singapore Airlines are the only significant players in this market and are aiming to increase their share as they add new nonstop routes. Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines are also keen to become significant players as they launch flights to the US, replacing their now limited offline products.
However, market share gains will likely come at the expense of yields and profitability as competition with North Asian airlines – and to some extent US and Gulf carriers – intensifies. North Asian airlines now account for more than 50% of bookings in the Southeast Asia-US market and have increased their reliance on Southeast Asian connections as they have added US capacity, resulting in very competitive fares.
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.