AirAsia X

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AirAsia X
AirAsia X Logo.svg
IATA
D7
ICAO
XAX
Callsign
XANADU
Founded 2007
Hubs klia2
Frequent-flyer program BIG[1]
Fleet size 18
Destinations 19
Company slogan Now Everyone Can Fly Xtra Long
Headquarters Malaysia Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Key people
Website AirAsia.com

AirAsia X Berhad (MYX: 5238) (previously known as FlyAsianXpress Sdn. Bhd.),[2] operated as AirAsia X, is a long-haul, budget airline based in Malaysia. It commenced operations on 2 November 2007 with 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 18 aircraft and has placed orders for more.

AirAsia X is the medium and long-haul 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.[3]

History[edit]

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.[4] Interest was also expressed in using Gold Coast Airport as another Australian destination.[5]

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.[6]

An AirAsia X Airbus A330-300 taxiing at Melbourne Airport

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.[7][8] Branson also forecast a strong possibility of future, formal links between Virgin Blue and AirAsia X, including codeshare agreements and Loyalty programs.[9][10]

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.[11]

FlyAsianXpress[edit]

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.[12] FAX was not a low cost carrier,[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.

XCITE, In-flight Personal Television on board AirAsia X aircraft.

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] with this, the airlines focus switched to a new market. Namely, low cost, long haul flights.

Shareholders[edit]

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.[19]

Destinations[edit]

AirAsia X Airbus A340-300 approaching London Stansted Airport

Future expansion[edit]

In June 2011, the airline received government approval to begin service to six cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka, Jeddah, Istanbul, and Sydney.[20]

AirAsia X also plans to fly to Xi'an, Wuhan and Shenyang in the People's Republic of China.[21] In 2009, the airline announced that it planned to serve Africa.[22] AirAsia X also announced plans to expand to Japan and further into Australia.[23]

On 12 January 2012, AirAsia X withdrew services to Delhi, Mumbai, London, and Paris, citing high fuel prices, "exorbitant" taxes, and weak travel demand.[24] 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.[25] The airline also withdrew its service to Christchurch, New Zealand on 31 May 2012 after only a year of launching service.[26] At the same time, the airline announced that it will increase services to Perth and Taipei from June 2012.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

On 8 October 2012, AirAsia X announced a sudden 7-day notice to withdraw services to Tehran citing "challenging economic and business conditions",[30] which drew much displeasure[31] amidst allegations of poor service and deceptive practices.[32]

In July 2013, AirAsia X executed an IPO on the Bursa Malaysia, raising $310 million. The international law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman advised on the transaction.[33] 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.[34]

In early December 2013 Fernandes, speaking at the London School of Economics, said London services would resume within eight months using Airbus A330-300 twin engined aircraft models.

On 15 July 2014, CEO Azran Osman-Rani and Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 50 A330-900neo aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow in the UK. The aircraft reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat over their current A330-300's, AirAsia X will become one of the first operators for the new type. “We have been encouraging Airbus to launch this new version of the A330 for some time now. I am pleased that they are offering this choice and bringing us the aircraft we truly need to develop further our low cost long haul model. We are 100% sure that the A330neo will be quite unbeatable in its size category and we look forward to enabling more people to fly further more often aboard this great aircraft,” said Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Director of AirAsia X.[35]

Fleet[edit]

An AirAsia X Airbus A330-300 Taking off at Perth Airport

As of April 2014, the AirAsia X fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 6.5 years:[36]

AirAsia X Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Options Passengers Notes
P Y Total
Airbus A330-300 19 39 10 12 365 377 9-abreast economy configuration
6 to be leased from ILFC.Indonesia AirAsia X. Thai AirAsia X. Malaysia AirAsia X
Airbus A330neo 50[37]
TBA
AirAsiaX has only made a commitment for 50 A330neo aircraft, not a complete order. The variant of the A330neo they shall purchase and the amount to be paid have not been decided yet.
Airbus A340-300 (2) 19 309 327 One aircraft painted in Oakland Raiders livery[38] Both Aircraft are stored until further notice
Airbus A350-900 10 5
TBA
425 Entry in service: 2016. Order reduce to 15 due to A330neo order[39]
Total 21 99 25

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Join BIG! AirAsia BIG Loyalty Programme". Airasia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  2. ^ AirAsia gets FIC nod for RCPS subscription[dead link]
  3. ^ "X-citing deal for air travellers". The Star. 6 January 2007. The Airline will be operating "incredibly" cheap prices to and from Asia to the East Coast of Australia
  4. ^ "Cut-price airlines landing like flies". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "Jetstar terminates Melbourne-Hawaii route". 8 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "Fly from Australia to Malaysia for A$31". Melbourne: The Age. 10/8/2007. 
  7. ^ "AirAsia to fly to Victoria, Queensland". News Limited. 10 August 2007. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Branson to take 20 per cent stake in AirAsia". The Age (Melbourne). 7 August 2007. 
  9. ^ Daniel Breen. "Billionaire Branson and AirAsia X move into Avalon". The Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  10. ^ "Aussies offered $31 flights to Malaysia". Herald Sun. [dead link]
  11. ^ Welcome to AirAsia.com...now everyone can fly[dead link]
  12. ^ "A smooth debut for FAX". Daily Express (Kota Kinabalu). 2 August 2006. 
  13. ^ "About FAX, FAX Told". FlyAsianXpress.com. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  14. ^ "Commuters express disappointment over rural air services offered by FAX". Borneo Bulletin. 11 August 2006. 
  15. ^ "Be Sensitive To Rural People's Needs, FAX Told". Bernama. 25 August 2006. [dead link]
  16. ^ "FAX: Let Firefly take over". The Star Online. 12/4/07. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Rural services back to MAS". The Star Online. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  18. ^ The Brunei Times[dead link]
  19. ^ "AirAsia X Chooses Manara & Orix As New Investors". 14 February 2008. [dead link]
  20. ^ Horton, Will (28 June 2011). "AirAsia X cleared to serve the world-except Sydney - Wings Down Under". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  21. ^ "AirAsia X expanding despite flying rights halt". Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  22. ^ AirAsia X set to fly to Africa
  23. ^ "AirAsia X May Add 60 More Planes, Open Hubs in Japan, Australia". Businessweek. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  24. ^ Associated Press – Thu, 12 Jan 2012 (12 January 2012). "AirAsia X to withdraw flights to Europe, India - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  25. ^ [1][dead link]
  26. ^ [2][dead link]
  27. ^ [3][dead link]
  28. ^ [4][dead link]
  29. ^ http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/airasia-x-to-resume-delhi-mumbai-flights/
  30. ^ "AirAsia X - To suspend services to Tehran". Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  31. ^ "TTG Asia - Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News - KL hotels fret over AirAsia X's Iranian pullout". Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  32. ^ "AirAsia seen riding out unfamiliar rough patch". ABS-CBN News. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  33. ^ http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubArticleCA.jsp?id=1202610392373
  34. ^ Calderon, Justin (19 March 2013). "http://investvine.com/airasia-x-ipo-lined-up-for-june/". Inside Investor. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  35. ^ http://www.airbus.com/newsevents/news-events-single/detail/airasia-x-to-order-50-a330neo/
  36. ^ "AirAsia X Fleet". ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  37. ^ Reinforcing Airbus’ widebody leadership: A330neo is a winner at the Farnborough Airshow
  38. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Production_List/Airbus/A340/278,9M-XAC-AirAsia-X.php
  39. ^ [5] AirAsia X Orders 10 Airbus A350 XWBs, Tuesday 10 May 201

External links[edit]