AirAsia X still waiting on Sydney green light

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Malaysian long-haul low cost carrier AirAsia X is yet to receive approval from the Malaysian government to fly to Sydney, Australia.

The application is still being processed by the authorities and there is no indication on when the approval will come, says AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani.

"It could come next week, it could come next year," he says.

Azran dismissed media reports that the carrier had planned to launch a KL-Sydney service in October as "speculation based on a landing slot application." He says that it will not plan for the route until it receives government approval.

AirAsia X is due to receive three Airbus A330s later this year and these will be used to add new routes and increase frequency on existing routes, says Azran.

The carrier flies to London-Stansted in the UK, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth in Australia, Hangzhou and Tianjin in China, and Taiwan's capital Taipei. Apart from Sydney, AirAsia X has also been eyeing flights to cities in Japan, South Korea and the Middle East.

Its biggest local competitor is Malaysia Airlines.