AirAsia X plans to continue expanding to Australia
AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani stated the carrier plans to continue expanding operations to Australia, as the global financial downturn continues to allow LCCs to take demand away from full-service carriers (The Australian, 30-Oct-2009). Mr Osman-Rani stated the carrier is likely to further increase Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne frequency to twice daily in mid-2010, after increasing frequency to 12 times weekly in Feb-2010 – see Route Changes Table for more information. The carrier also hopes to launch daily Kuala Lumpur-Sydney service in 2010, but is still having issues obtaining regulatory approval. Mr Osman-Rani also stated LCCs should re-examine their models to take Premium traffic away from full service carriers, instead of playing a “diminishing yield game". The carrier plans to install lie-flat beds on one of its new aircraft, while also retrofitting five A330s and two A340s with the beds in 1H2010.
AirAsia X: "Those [lie-flat] seats are more than just symbolic. I think we're really figuring out how we use that lie-flat bed as a product to further develop a different proposition to a different customer segment. So we're bundling in more amenities and flexibility; things, for example, that business customers are more keen on - the ability to change flights at the last-minute and so forth…As you can see, we're continuing to keep hammering away at Australia to keep building up our position and deliberately and consciously holding back to places like Japan and Korea, and even India, which are new markets for us. At times like this, we just decided we can't be too adventurous," Azran Osman-Rani, CEO. Source: The Australian, 30-Oct-2009.