Thai AirAsia X plans to launch services from Bangkok to destinations in North Asia and Australia in the first quarter of 2014.
AirAsia X said in a statement that Thai AirAsia X, which recently received its air operator’s licence, is expected to receive its air operator’s certificate by the end of 2013, allowing it to commence operations.
The carrier will be based at Bangkok Don Mueang International airport, and plans to focus on flying to destinations where AirAsia X already has a presence.
“Thai AirAsia X will also focus on flying to long-haul destinations in North Asia and Australia where AirAsia X has already built up brand awareness and operating bases, to speed up its market penetration,” says AirAsia X chief executive Azran-Osman Rani.
He adds that Thai AirAsia X is the first part of the long-haul, low-cost carrier’s "strategic multi-hub plan", and will benefit from the feed offered by Thai AirAsia at Don Mueang.
“The combination of multiple hubs and having both short-haul and long-haul networks is a strategic advantage over other competitors,” says Osman-Rani. “The Thai hub also gives AirAsia X an additional growth platform beyond its current base in Kuala Lumpur. The hub in Bangkok can also increase connectivity options for travelers wanting to experience both Thailand and Malaysia, to arrive at one hub, and depart from the other.”
AirAsia X holds a 49% stake in Thai AirAsia X, with Thai AirAsia chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld holding 41% and Thai entrepreneur Julpas Kruesopon the remaining 10%.
AirAsia X is also understood to be examining the launch of a joint venture in Indonesia, which would link in with Indonesia AirAsia’s network there.
Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Malaysia-based AirAsia operates a fleet of 14 Airbus A330-300s and has a further 15 on order. It also has orders for 10 A350-900s.