Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breaking! AirAsia X pulls out of India

Neelam Mathews
Jan 12, 2012

AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of AirAsia, has today announced a realignment of its network with a focus on its core markets. The move will see AirAsia X withdrawing services to India (Mumbai and Delhi) and Europe (Paris, London) from its Kuala Lumpur hub. 

Four weekly services to Mumbai will be suspended with the last flight on 31 January, 2012. New Delhi- Daily services will be suspended with the last flight on 22 March, 2012. Flights in March will be reduced to four weekly services.

“The continued visa restrictions for travel between India and Malaysia, and the increase in airport and handling charges have resulted in a structure not conducive to the low cost model….The airline is hopeful in reinstating services to India once these structural issues can be resolved,” said Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X.

Six weekly services to London will be suspended with the last flight on 31 March, 2012
Four weekly services to Paris will be suspended with the last flight on 30 March, 2012.

AirAsia X says it will offer guests who hold bookings after these dates an alternative travel option at no additional cost to mitigate the inconvenience caused as a result of these route withdrawals.

All affected guests will receive an e-mail stating options that are available to them, including a full refund, a reroute to another AirAsia X destination (e.g, in Australia and North Asia), or a move to an alternative carrier where available.

These changes will improve operating cost efficiencies and consolidate its network to focus on markets where it can build a leadership position in 2012.

 “We intend to concentrate capacity in our core markets of Australasia, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea where we have built up stable, profitable routes within an infrastructure that supports low cost services. We intend to open up new routes within these markets, as well as add frequencies on existing routes. Announcements of our future expansion plans will be made soon,” Azran said.

“The continued high jet fuel prices and the weakening demand for air travel from Europe, brought about by the current economic situation together with exorbitant government taxes, have placed cost pressures on operating long-haul low cost flights between Asia and Europe, compromising our ability to offer the low fares AirAsia X is known for,” he added.

He adds: “The implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme and the escalating Air Passenger Duty taxes in UK, which will rise yet again in April 2012  has forced our decision to withdraw our services to Europe.”

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