Long haul LCCs, Asia Pacific: Citilink becomes newest operator 

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Citilink will become the twelfth Asia Pacific LCC operating widebody aircraft in 4Q2019 as it takes delivery of two A330-900neos. The Garuda Indonesia subsidiary is slated to become only the fourth LCC to serve the Southeast Asia-Europe market as it launches services from Jakarta to Frankfurt.

There are now more than 100 widebodies operated by Asia Pacific LCCs, but only a small fraction is used on long haul routes of more than nine hours. Almost all of Asia’s widebody LCC fleet is used on medium haul services of four to nine hours within Asia Pacific.

Inevitably, Asia’s LCCs will launch more long haul services. However, the focus will remain primarily on the short and medium haul routes within Asia Pacific, including six- to eight-hour routes that in future will be able to be operated with new generation narrowbody aircraft as well as widebodies. 

Europe and North America will remain relatively unattractive due to intense competition from full service airlines, although there will be some niche opportunities in these markets for Asian LCCs.

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