AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani stated Korean LCCs should be more aggressive in promoting independent marketing rather than being overly dependent on travel agencies (joongang, 29-Mar-2011). AirAsia X, which has been operating on the Kuala Lumpur-Seoul sector for five months, stated only 5-10% of its promotions are done through travel agencies, with the carrier instead promoting direct online and call-centre marketing to Korean customers via Twitter and Facebook. The carrier added that load factors on the service are at around 80%. Some 80% of its passengers in Nov-2010 and Dec-2010 were Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians visiting Korea, while the rest were Koreans. This decreased to 70% in Jan-2011 and Feb-2011 as the proportion of visitors from Korea increased to 30%. The carrier is planning to increase this to at least 40% by the end of 2011 with an ultimate aim of a 50%:50% split.
AirAsia X: “Korean LCCs should go out to the market and get new people to fly to new places. LCCs cannot depend only on travel agencies [to attract more customers]. Korean LCCs should also talk to airport operators on improving terminals and ground handling ... We want to make sure we succeed and stay for a long time [in the Korean market]. We started with the website, then we started a Korean-speaking call centre, we are improving food by offering bulgogi [and] rice, and every flight has Korean-speaking cabin crew," Azran Osman-Rani, CEO. Joonjang, 29-Mar-2011.