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.
AirAsia X to secure US destinations by 2013
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Southeast Asia Fleet Outlook:
Southeast Asia, along with the Middle East, are the only two regions with as nearly as many aircraft on order as in the active fleet. Southeast Asian airlines currently have nearly 1700 aircraft on order compared to an active fleet of approximately 1800 aircraft.
AirAsia X to become the ninth Asia Pacific low cost airline serving the US, and the third in Hawaii
Malaysia’s AirAsia X is launching services from Osaka to Honolulu in Jun-2017, making it the second LCC to operate from North Asia to Hawaii and the third LCC from Asia-Pacific. The route is made possible by a combination of liberal air service agreements, providing fifth freedom rights to the Malaysian airline. The Korean Air LCC subsidiary Jin Air and Qantas subsidiary Jetstar Airways are currently the only LCCs from Asia Pacific with service to Hawaii – or any of the 50 US states.
AirAsia X secured US FAA approval in Feb-2017, ending a tedious two year process. AirAsia X ibecomes the ninth Asia Pacific LCC to secure US FAA approval and the second from Southeast Asia, after Cebu Pacific. Six Asian LCCs currently serve Guam and five serve Saipan.
Asian LCCs will inevitably also serve the mainland US. Both AirAsia X and Cebu Pacific, along with new Chinese LCCs, have the US west coast in their business plans. Cebu Pacific is the only likely low cost operator of nonstop flights from Southeast Asia to the continental US.