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Europe a ‘long-term plan’ for Thai AirAsia X

Thai AirAsia X is eyeing potential flights to Europe, but this year will be focused on bolstering its North Asian network.

“It’s a long-term plan, we have been studying again,” said the carrier’s chief executive Nadda Buranasiri during a discussion session at the Routes Asia event in Brisbane.

He admits though that the airline still needs to “fully understand” the market before it launches any routes to Europe.

Nadda adds that the carrier has, in the past, been too aggressive and failed to fully analyse the markets it entered. It had to pay the price for it - especially when it comes to entering into markets that are still dominated by travel agents, rather than the independent travelers that are its core target.

“In 2016 we were too fast in two markets that were not developed in online travel markets,” he admits.

This year, the carrier will take delivery of three Airbus A330-300s, which will take its fleet to nine of the type. The aircraft are being sourced from 49% shareholder AirAsia X.

While it will launch services from Bangkok Don Mueang to Sapporo in April, the bulk of the additional capacity this year will focus on adding frequencies to existing routes.

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that the carrier operates services from Bangkok to Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka.

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