AirAsia X has no plan to resume flights to India, Europe: Report
Kuala Lumpur: AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of AirAsia, has said there is no plan to resume flights to India and Europe till next year and the budget carrier wants to concentrate on its network in the Asia Pacific and Australia.
The airline stopped flying to London, Paris and some Indian cities last year due to increasing taxes and higher jet fuel prices.
"Europe and India are not going to be the markets that we are going to serve this year or next year. Asia Pacific is the market that we are looking at. There is more growth in these markets and it is the right segment," AirAsia X CEO Azran Othman Rani was quoted as saying in a Malaysian Reserve report.
The airline has plans to increase its flying destinations in more cities in Australia, China and in other Asia-Pacific countries, the report said.
"We are building this global network piece by piece in all markets and then the long-haul arm will connect it to other hubs," Azran said.
The airline stopped flying to India due to high airport costs and travel agent charges, while an emission trading scheme that was implemented in the European Union had put carriers from North America and Asia at a disadvantage.
AirAsia X's parent company AirAsia is planning to set up a carrier in India. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has already approved investment in the new venture, wherein Malaysia-based AirAsia would hold 49 percent stake, Tata Sons will have 30 percent and 21 percent stake would be owned by Telestra Tradeplace's Arun Bhatia.
Azran said AirAsia X will add seven new aircraft this year and seven next year to its fleet, with the total increasing to 25 by 2014.
AirAsia X is coming out with its RM776 million (approx. USD 256 million) initial public offering (IPO) this year.