AirAsia X’s long-haul threat to Southeast Asian carriers

AirAsia X A340.jpgAirAsia X continues to expand its network beyond the eight-hour mark after confirming that it will begin flights to Paris as part of its ambitious growth plans.

This is the second confirmed European destination for the Kuala Lumpur-based long-haul low-cost associate of Malaysia’s AirAsia. More are likely to be announced in the coming year.

Point-to-point travel remains very attractive in Southeast Asia. But if AirAsia X can offer competitive fares, it will result in a very interesting situation vis-a-vis other carriers like Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways.

AirAsia’s extensive short-haul network will bring passengers to Malaysia for the long-haul journeys on AirAsia X, which offers both business class (albeit not as nice as SIA’s, for example) and economy class options. If this economic crisis has really led to a structural shift in the way airline passengers travel, this Malaysian carrier may be on to something.

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3 Responses to AirAsia X’s long-haul threat to Southeast Asian carriers

  1. Will Horton 13 October, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    I would argue–and I think AirAsia X’s CEO Azran Osman-Rani would argue this as well–AirAsia X is not so much offering an alternative to people looking for a cheaper fare than Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, etc. but rather is expanding the market and permitting people to fly who would not have done so otherwise.

  2. Siva Govindasamy 13 October, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Hey Will, how’s it going man?

    Yes, it is true that AirAsia is trying to create new markets. But the reason why SIA, MAS etc take AirAsia seriously is because AirAsia also eats into their market – especially on the long-haul segments. People who already fly long-haul will now have an alternative in AirAsia X, and that is a serious market that Azran (and Tony) are well aware of that – see their marketing campaigns that target these models. Businesses who want to cut costs, leisure travellers who want to keep flying long-haul but want to save money – all of these guys will be attracted to AirAsia X in this economic climate!

  3. Capt Wilbur Wright 15 October, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    Siva, you are dead right..SIA has already cut frequencies to KLIA. Now Silkair is filling in with their A320′s. MAS on the other hand is using B777 for the KLIA-Taipeh_LA runs.Certainly their loads are dropping like a rock.Next year AirAsiaX will be flying to New York via Stanstead. They are aleady on for Kocin, Trivendrum and Culcutta.

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