AirAsia X confirmed (12-Jul-2011) plans to relocate its UK base from Stansted to Gatwick Airport from 24-Oct-2011. The new base is set to further increase passenger traffic from Southeast Asia to London and Europe with six services to Gatwick by mid-Dec-2011. Air Asia X will temporarily reduce services to London from six to three times weekly from Nov-2011. From 01-Dec-2011, the service will operate five times weekly. AirAsia operates the London-KL route with A340 aircraft, but will take delivery of two A330-200s in 2012 which will be deployed on the route. The announcement is separate to the carrier’s proposed European network growth. AirAsia announced in Jul-2011 that it had received a “tremendous response” to the recent Request for Proposals (RFP) for the expansion of its European route network. The final deadline for responses is 01-Aug-2011 and by 01-Sep-2011 AirAsia X will have formalised a shortlist of possible new airport partners. [more]
AirAsia X: “Gatwick Airport was chosen as it demonstrated the passion to work with us in realising our objectives to grow passenger traffic between our hubs in Asia Pacific and London. With our new home base in Gatwick, guests would be able to further benefit from the airport’s destination served, airline diversity, and beyond market connectivity potential with faster and cheaper rail connectivity to the city as compared to Stansted. AirAsia X see’s strong potential for the airport as we believe our entry will address the fact that direct services to Asia is significantly underserved from Gatwick,” CEO, Azran Osman-Rani.