AirAsia plans expansion of Singapore network

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AirAsia hopes to fly to more routes from Singapore in 2009 after successfully launching flights to four Indonesian cities in late March.

The Malaysia-based low-cost carrier, which also has Indonesian and Thai subsidiaries, says in a statement that it hopes to begin flights from Singapore to Medan and Surabaya in Indonesia and Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia. It also hopes to increase the frequency of some of its existing routes.

Last month, the airline began to fly to the Indonesian cities of Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta and Bali from Singapore, adding to the Pekanbaru flights that began in August 2008. It also flies to the Malaysian cities of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, as well as Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand. In total, the carrier has 140 weekly flights to and from Singapore.

"Singapore is very special to AirAsia and we consider it a virtual hub. AirAsia's latest Indonesia-Singapore link forms the final piece of our network jigsaw puzzle as it resembles the importance of the AirAsia network, making it the most powerful in Asia," says the airline's chief executive Tony Fernandes.

"Given the current economic climate, this positive link between these new services is indeed such an encouraging response. Greater connection to both countries would not only boost economic growth by providing better access to markets but also enhance links within travel, trade and tourism."