AirAsia X Re-Aligns Network

AirAsia X, the long-haul, low fare affiliate of AirAsia is realigning its network to focus on core markets, and as a result will be withdrawing services to India (Mumbai and Delhi) and Europe (Paris and London) from its Kuala Lumpur hub.  The four services each week to Mumbai ended on January 31, while the daily service to Delhi stops on March 22.  The six times weekly rotations to London and the four flights a week to Paris both will stop at the end of March.  Speaking about the decision to cut these links, the carrier’s CEO Azran Osman-Rani, said: “AirAsia X remains focused on maintaining its global leadership position in the low-cost, long-haul sector.  We intend to concentrate capacity in our core markets of Australasia, China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea where we have built up stable, profitable routes within an infrastructure that supports low-cost operations.  We intend to open up new routes within these markets, as well as add frequencies on existing routes.”
The airline claimed a combination of factors have caused it to rethink its plans including higher jet fuel prices and the weakening demand for air travel from Europe, brought about by the current economic situation, together with what it describes as “exorbitant” government taxes.  Azran Osman-Rani added: “The implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme and the escalating Air Passenger Duty taxes in the UK, which will rise yet again in April 2012 have forced our decision to withdraw services from Europe.”
The problems in India are slightly different, involving visa restrictions on travel between India and Malaysia, plus increases in airport and handling charges that mean the routes have become unprofitable.  The airline hopes that it can reinstate its Indian links as soon as these issues have been resolved.