|Hubs||Kuala Lumpur International Airport|
|Company slogan||Now Everyone Can Fly Xtra Long|
AirAsia X is a long-haul, budget airline based in Malaysia. The airline is operated by AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. (previously known as FlyAsianXpress Sdn. Bhd.). It commenced operations on 2 November 2007. Its first service flew from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Gold Coast Airport in Australia. AirAsia X flies to destinations within Asia and Oceania. The airline operates a fleet of 11 aircraft and has placed orders for more.
AirAsia X is the international operation of the brand AirAsia, which is Asia's largest low-cost carrier. The franchise is able to keep costs down by using a common ticketing system, aircraft livery, employee uniforms, and management style. AirAsia X is also affiliated with Virgin Group and Air Canada.
On 17 May 2007, Tony Fernandes announced plans to commence flights from Malaysia to Australia. Fernandes said he would be avoiding Sydney Airport due to its high fees. Instead the airline would concentrate on cheaper alternatives such as Melbourne's Avalon Airport, Williamtown Airport in Newcastle, and Adelaide Airport. Sustained fares were predicted to be around MYR 800 (A$285) for a return fare, plus taxes. Interest was also expressed in using Gold Coast Airport as another Australian destination.
Several major developments were announced on 10 August 2007. AirAsia X announced its first route from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast. One way fares for this route have been touted to begin at MYR 50 (A$17) excluding taxes and charges, with average return prices to be approximately MYR1,800 (A$598), inclusive of taxes and charges.
The airline also announced that Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, will take a 20% share in the airline to help kick-start its long haul operations and to finance its aircraft purchases. Branson also forecast a strong possibility of future, formal links between Virgin Blue and AirAsia X, including codeshare agreements and Loyalty programs.
The first AirAsia X aircraft arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 15 September 2007. It was named "Semangat Sir Freddie" (English: "Spirit of Sir Freddie") after the pioneer and founder of the low cost model; the late, Sir Freddie Laker of Skytrain.
FlyAsianXpress (FAX) was an airline based in Sarawak, Malaysia. It operated services on some of the smaller routes dropped by national carrier Malaysia Airlines. Its routes have since been taken over by MASwings.
FAX was privately owned by Kamarudin Meranun, Raja Razali, Raja Azmi and Tony Fernandes. The airline was subcontracted by AirAsia to operate several domestic services following the withdrawal of Malaysia Airlines from rural air service routes within East Malaysia. Its maiden flight was on 1 August 2006, despite being delayed for 50 minutes by bad weather. FAX was not a low cost carrier, but it incorporated some of AirAsia’s practices in order to reduce cost. Namely; internet and phone bookings, as well as ticketless check-in systems.
Within days of operation it was subject to a flood of criticisms from commuters, civil servants, and people working in the tourism industry. Critics argued that the new turboprop service provided by FAX should not be more expensive than the rural air service previously operated by Malaysia Airlines, as FAX was subsidised by the Malaysian Government. As well as cost, the airline was criticized for poor service, such as sudden flight cancellations without notice. The CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board also stated that disruptions to cargo supply flights to the interior, caused tourists to take their own food rations, rather than rely upon the air cargo supplies of food and fuel. FAX released a new flight timetable citing the sudden need for heavy maintenance on its Fokker 50 fleet as the trigger for severe disruption to its schedules.
On 11 April 2007, Tony Fernandes, CEO of the parent company of FAX (AirAsia), publicized details of a handover offer of FAX's rural routes, to Firefly, a subsidiary airline of Malaysia Airlines. He described it as "the logical thing to do", as Firefly can be the only national company operating turboprop aircraft. On 26 April 2007, the government announced Malaysia Airlines would take over the operation of rural air services from FAX, and gave assurance that any financial loss will be born by the government. Malaysia Airlines announced the take over of FAX destinations beginning on 1 October 2007. Malaysia Airlines would operate these routes through a new subsidiary, MASwings.
With FAX rural air services replaced by MASwings, the corporate name was changed from FlyAsianXpress Sdn. Bhd. to AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. with this, the airlines focus switched to a new market. Namely, low cost, long haul flights.
The entrance of two new major investors has given the company financial aid for future expansion plans.
As of 14 February 2008, 48% of AirAsia X is owned by Aero Ventures; a venture of Tony Fernandes and other prominent Malaysians, as well as Air Canada's Robert Milton. Virgin Group own 16% and a further 16% is owned by AirAsia. Bahrain-based Manara Consortium, and Japan-based Orix Corp have taken a 20% stake in AirAsia X for RM250 million.
AirAsia X also plans to fly to Xi'an, Wuhan and Shenyang in the People's Republic of China. Recently, the airline announced that it plans to serve Africa. The airline is also planning to expand to Japan and Australia.
On 12 January 2012, AirAsia X withdrew services to Delhi, Mumbai, London, and Paris, citing high fuel prices, "exorbitant" taxes, and weak travel demand. The airline also announced that it will fly from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney effective 1 April 2012. Shortly after the announcement of the Sydney launch, the airline is also looking to serve Adelaide as the airline continues to expand in Australia. The airline also withdrew its service to Christchurch, New Zealand on 31 May 2012 after only a year of launching service. At the same time, the airline announced that it will increase services to Perth and Taipei from June 2012. From 22 June 2012, the airline will launch service to Beijing, its third Chinese destination and at the same time will terminate service to Tianjin. AirAsia X have also suspended Abu Dhabi many years before due to unprofit. The airline announced that it plans to resume service to Delhi and Mumbai.
On 8 October 2012, Airasia X announced a sudden 7-day notice to withdraw services to Tehran citing "challenging economic and business conditions", which drew much displeasure amidst allegations of poor service and deceptive practices.
AirAsia X is planning an IPO in June 2013 on the Bursa Malaysia, which is expected to raise $250 million. The listing will be used to further expand routes, especially if the airline gets Thai authorities’ approval for an air operator’s certificate to operate flights from Bangkok to South Korea and Japan. Airasia X are also planning to make a long haul airline in Indonesia. It is in the process of getting the Air Operator Certificate.
In January 2010, AirAsia X announced that all of its A330 and A340's longhaul seats will be refurbished, with the first aircraft's refurbishment being scheduled to be completed in early February, and the remaining aircraft in June 2010. AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani, said that fares for premium class tickets will rise with the introduction of lie flat beds, although stressing that its premium service fares would remain competitive, which is cited to be comparable to the cost of an economy class fare on a full service airline. Prices for AirAsia X Economy class tickets will remain unchanged. This expansion comes at a reported cost of US$10 million.
As of December 2012, the AirAsia X fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 5.9 years:
|Airbus A330-300||10||15||—||12||365||377||Asia, Oceania, Middle East||9-abreast economy configuration|
||425||Europe, North America||Entry in service: 2016|
On 14 May 2007, AirAsia confirmed that it had ordered 15 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, 5 more than originally announced. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2008. On 27 March 2008, AirAsia signed a firm contract for another 10 Airbus A330-300s bringing the airline's total order to 25. AirAsia X received its first A330 on 31 October 2008 in Toulouse, France.
In February 2011, AirAsia cancelled its order for two of the Airbus A330-200 aircraft, despite not taking delivery of either one when both having been built. Eventually, Hong Kong Airlines and Iraqi Airways took delivery of each aircraft. Last year, the airline eventually cancelled its order for one Airbus A330-200. 
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