Aviation Daily Jul 28 , 2010 , p. 11
Long-haul Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia X has received all approvals to start a twice-weekly service to Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran, starting Aug. 4.
“It’s a market with potential. Iranians have a big middle class with disposable income and a desire to travel internationally. Malaysia accepts Iranian tourists without visa requirements, and there’s already an established Iranian expat community in Malaysia,” says CEO Azran Osman-Rani.
Iran is also said to be interested in exploring links in the oil and gas sectors with Malaysia, which could increase business travel.
The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tehran takes about eight hours.
The Malaysian air group is on a launch spree; on July 20, AirAsia started its eighth Indian destination—Hyderabad—since it began operating to the country in December 2008. The carrier also announced plans to start Kuala Lumpur-Delhi service in early August.
AirAsia X flies from Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai, London, Australia and mainland China.
Asia’s largest budget brand, AirAsia, operates scheduled domestic and international flights. Affiliate airlines Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia have hubs at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand, and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Indonesia.