AirAsia X looking to have services to North America using A340s

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Malaysian long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X is considering destinations in North America and new destinations in Europe, possibly using Airbus A340-300s.

"(It is) too early to get into specifics, but for Europe we would be keen on a central European destination and an eastern European destination," AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani says in an email to ATI. "For North America, maybe one on the east coast and one on the west coast."

While he gave no timeframe for the possible new routes, he says the airline will continue monitoring trends within the lease market for A340-300s.

"We will not be actively looking for A340s until next year," he says.

"We want to get comfortable with A340 operations and economics with the two that we have leased, but we will keep monitoring the trends in the lease market for the A340-300."

Azran says: "We would only be looking at the A340-300 model, and ideally with the same CFM engines."

In an email to Malaysian publication The Business Times, Azran says - with regards to the lease market for A340s- "we expect the lease market to soften further as the Boeing 787s come on stream."

"It is not difficult to find A340s; it's just that we're choosy and patient, waiting to pounce on a lease only when it is very favourable," he adds.

At the Paris air show yesterday, AirAsia X announced it would buy ten Airbus A350-900s, each with 400 seats in a two-classten-abreast cabin layout. These are to be delivered from early 2016, it says, adding that the deal includes five options.