19-May-2011 10:36 AM

AirAsia X to secure US destinations by 2013

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandez stated: "You can't be a global airline if you don't come to America," adding that New York is the logical first US destination, and California and Hawaii are also attractive (Dow Jones, 18-May-2011). Mr Fernandes said US destinations have been delayed by the multiple agreements necessary to commence services. Also, AirAsia X cannot operate direct services to the US until it receives delivery of A350 aircraft, and its current fleet would need to stop in Europe on the way, adding additional issues. He said the carrier would expand its fleet from 11 widebody aircraft to 38 by 2020 and was finalising engine purchase for the remaining 27. Ten of the 27 on order are A350 aircraft. AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani expects the carrier to secure US destinations either in 2012 or 2013, though approval to stop in the US is "not even halfway there". AirAsia X is already marketing in the US, including a sponsorship deal with professional football's Oakland Raiders.

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