Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia X has confirmed that it intends to establish a second base in Bangkok as part of its expansion strategy.

In a revised draft prospectus lodged with Malaysia's Securities Commission ahead of a likely initial public offering, the airline says that in March, it established a company in Thailand with the intention of using it to launch a second base.

"We plan to operate our first new hub outside Kuala Lumpur in Thailand through our newly-established associated company, THAI AAX, to tap into Thailand's well-known leisure market and to leverage on AirAsia's already established short-haul feeder network in Thailand," says the airline.

It adds that the company is currently dormant, and has given no indication when it would be likely to start operations.

AirAsia X also estimates its initial cash commitment to the Thai company to be at $3.3 million, but adds that "depending on the level of operations, further capital contributions may be required in the near future".

It did not say who are the other shareholders in the company, but it may include publicly-listed company Asia Aviation, the parent company of Thai AirAsia.

AirAsia X had stated previously that it sees the best opportunities for expansion coming from markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, where AirAsia already has short-haul affiliate carriers that would be able to act as feeders for a long-haul service.

Earlier this year, media reports from Thailand indicated that AirAsia X was planning to start a new base at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport with two Airbus A330-300s in the second half of this year, initially focusing on routes to South Korea and Japan.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that AirAsia X has a fleet of 12 A330s and two A340-300s and has orders for 17 more A330s and 10 A350-900s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news