AirAsia X announced (21-Sep-2010) plans to launch three-times weekly Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo Haneda service in Dec-2010 (with frequency likely to increase to daily), with Tokyo becoming the 12th destination for the airline after Australia, India, Taiwan, China, Europe and South Korea - see Route Changes Table for more information. To mark the launch, the carrier is offering promotion fares from MYR99 (USD32) – or JPY5,000/USD58 from Japan, significantly below current fares of USD650-2,000 on the sector – one way for select travel periods. The carrier could expand its Japan network to three additional destinations in the future such as Fukuoka, Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Reuters, 21-Sep-2010). AirAsia X will become the first foreign LCC to use Tokyo Haneda. [more]
AirAsia X: "The power of Haneda is its very strong domestic network, with dozens of flights to Sapporo, Osaka, Fukuoka ... and its very central location thanks to which it already has a strong cargo operation that we can tap. We could operate in at least three different airports in Japan, just give us a couple of years as airports like Fukuoka, Osaka and Sapporo are all places that we have a strong interest in," Azran Osman-Rani, CEO. Source: Reuters, 21-Sep-2010.
AirAsia X: “AirAsia X’s commencement of direct services to Tokyo from Kuala Lumpur is a new addition to our long-haul Asian network after Korea. We are pleased our long-standing ambition has finally pulled through and as the largest metropolitan city in the world; Tokyo represents an important feeder market into our growing international network. The three times weekly flight will strengthen our historic business and tourism links with Japan's commercial centre, adding real convenience and providing affordable international travel for everyone. We estimate that more than 60% of AirAsia X passengers to and from Tokyo will be first-time visitors, which will contribute significantly to tourism growth, allowing AirAsia X the opportunity to open up new market segments from Tokyo. This will further boost tourism traffic into Malaysia from Japan, which has already shown an increase in visitor arrivals to date in 2010 compared to last year. AirAsia X’s direct connection will be able to stimulate new travel demands and further tap the young working adults and families, to travel to Malaysia and thereafter use Kuala Lumpur as a gateway to over 132 routes in Southeast Asia that includes regional ASEAN cities or long-haul sectors serviced by AirAsia X,” Azran Osman-Rani, CEO. Source: Company Statement, 21-Sep-2010.