AirAsia X has begun to evaluate the destinations it will fly to from Abu Dhabi, but a decision is not expected until later this year at the earliest.
The Malaysia-based long-haul low-cost carrier will begin direct Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi services using its Airbus A340s on 23 November. It plans to make Abu Dhabi its virtual hub, where it will not base aircraft but operate onward flights to other cities. Its CEO Azran Osman-Rani says that there are various options available.
"Abu Dhabi has a lot of connectivity. We are looking to fly to other places in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe from there," he says.
Azran adds that the airline has fifth freedom rights that allow it to pick up revenue passengers from Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.
"The UAE has a very liberal air services regime, and other carriers are already flying on from there. It will not be a problem for us."