AirAsia X: "One of the most important and compelling insights we've been able to derive over the past two years is that when you fly long-haul you have to use these big, widebodied jets. So it means to fill up those planes every day you cannot just rely on point-to-point traffic, you have to rely on the connection feed. And what we've realised is that you don't need all these sophisticated codesharing, inter-aligning alliances, getting computer systems to talk to each other and payment settlement systems that just add so much complexity and cost. We realised that people today can buy two tickets on the internet. They can buy separate tickets from Germany to Stansted in the UK and from Stansted to Kuala Lampur very easily and still connect," Azran Osman-Rani, CEO. Source: Emirates Business 24/7, 28-Aug-09.
AirAsia X sees no need for codesharing or complex distribution
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Coming to terms with the disruptors
Within the context of global aviation disruption, Emirates and its low cost long haul-to-long haul model is right at the top of the tree. For years, as Emirates grew rapidly in Australia, Qantas railed at the government’s liberalisation of the UAE bilateral agreements, arguing this seriously undermined the flag carrier’s economics. Added to the longstanding impact of Asian airlines’ sixth freedom dilution of Qantas’ Europe traffic, Emirates effectively spelled the end of any long term aspirations to serve Europe effectively.
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.