Is AirAsia X a threat to Middle East carriers?

AirAsia X another A330.jpg

AirAsia X is eyeing a “virtual hub” in the Middle East, possibly in either Abu Dhabi or Bahrain.

That is an interesting move for the carrier, which needs to deploy its aircraft beyond the 8-hour limit in order to maximise the yields and grow new markets.

I wonder, though, how Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways or Bahrain’s Gulf Air would react. Their governments might be happy for the additional services out of their airports, but the airlines could feel threatened if AirAsia X bites into their market for flights beyond their countries.

Given how AirAsia shook up the airline sector in Southeast Asia, this could develop into a very interesting situation in the coming months after AirAsia X unveils its new hub.

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5 Responses to Is AirAsia X a threat to Middle East carriers?

  1. Syed Amir Ahsan 1 August, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    It remains to be be seen what sort of onward traffic rights Air Asia can secure from the Bahrain/UAE authorities. If they get traffic rights, it’s sure gonna be a tough competitive environment for Gulf Air/Etihad. At least a significant number of economy passengers will be lured by low price but good on-time performance, clean & nice aircraft interior and friendly staff for which Air Asia is known for. It surely is THE BEST low cost carrier in the world, sometimes offering better ‘service’ than many legacy carriers !

  2. Siva Govindasamy 2 August, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    Best? Hmmm, that is a tough one. They are certainly good but not sure about being the best.

    And they are unlikely to go to the MIddle East unless they can get fifth freedom rights, I reckon.

  3. Kinbin 3 August, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    hmmm… a tie up with Air Arabia perhaps? FlyDubai?

  4. Siva Govindasamy 3 August, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Yep, fifth freedom rights are crucial. I doubt they would go to a country that does not offer them.

  5. Romeo 4 August, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    If Air Asia X targets destination that GF don’t serve ( initially ) , then no one will complain

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