AirAsia X celebrated (11-Mar-2010) its first anniversary of Kuala Lumpur-London Stansted service. The carrier stated that since launching the route a year ago, it has consistently achieved higher than 80% load factor and carried over 221,000 passengers so far. The carrier plans to increase frequency to nine times weekly during Summer 2010 and Winter 2010-11 peak periods - Jul-2010, Aug-2010, Sep-2010, Dec-2010 and Jan-2011. [more]
AirAsia celebrates first anniversary of London route, to increase frequency this Summer
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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.
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.