AirAsia Wants to Attract More Australians to its Network

30th May 2017

If you’re Australian, there’s a high chance that Bali is your favourite summer holiday resort, or that you’ve been there for at least one summer. Well, Malaysian low-cost long-haul carrier AirAsia X and its Chief Executive Officer Benyamin Ismail think they can offer gems you haven’t explored yet through the airline’s network.

In an interview to, Mr. Ismail particularly targeted budget travellers, saying:

We see a lot of Australians travelling to Bali. So of course, we know that is a very strong market and we have been doing well in that market, but we have been trying to educate that there is life beyond Bali. We want to focus on other islands in Malaysia — Penang, Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu. We are also looking at Sri Lanka — Colombo has a very nice stretch of beaches so we are pushing hard on that. And we are also looking at Vietnam. We know that there is an attraction there, we just want to make these markets affordable.

The AAX CEO said they will make travel more affordable to Aussies by being more efficient and providing volume:

We run a very cost-efficient operation which allows us to charge lower fares. We have more seats on our planes. We are a very high density aircraft, so the cost per seat is much lower. But how we operate staff is also quite efficient. When we look at the number of staff per aircraft — the number of total airline staff divided by the number of aircraft — we are at about 90 staff per aircraft. Low-cost carriers like Ryanair or EasyJet run their airlines at about 72 to 80 staff per aircraft. Full service carriers are sitting about 160 to 180.

At the moment, AirAsia operates out of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Gold Coast. Flights from Kota Kinabalu, for instance, cost $228 to Perth, $278 to Sydney and $288 to Melbourne, all one-way.

Mr. Ismail said on the importance of giving passengers an opportunity to control their own costs when flying an LCC:

If you are really concerned about the cost and value for money, you don’t have to buy food, for example. That is the good thing about low-cost carriers, you pay for what you use.

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