AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman Rani was in good form at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in
"Connectivity is very important in our model," he told delegates at the conference, pointing to the high proportion of traffic on its own Kuala Lumpur-London Stansted route that make their own connections out of the north London airport. "30% of our passengers [on the route] don't end in Stansted and ignoring that can make the difference between a route working and not working.
"You have got to keep your eyes on the what the legacy carriers are doing," he added. "They will evolve the model and they will go after the customer passenger base of the low-cost carriers. It is going to be very difficult if you don't have access to 30% of the volume someone else has access to."
Osman Rani argues there is no need for a sophisticated booking engine to achieve this connectivity, noting passengers are easily now able to buy different segments together and that some price sensitive customers would rather save money on the fare by having to get off at Stansted and check in again on another flight. "We are still seeing that connectivity without taking onboard all the complexity," he says.
The Malaysian low-cost long-haul operator will continue its expansion later this year by adding flights to
"People seem fixated that you can't have a big utilisation or seat density difference. Of course you can," he says. "You just have to think differently. The key is, how are the legacy airlines operating today and is there a different way of doing it. I think you just have to look at things from a fresh perspective and find where are the value opportunities."