AirAsia X is planning a big return to London and the United Kingdom in 2018. It’s reportedly just waiting on the delivery of its new Airbus A330NEOs from the manufacturer.
The budget airline has 66 A330NEO aircraft waiting for delivery from 2018.
Benyamin Ismail, Chief Executive Officer at AirAsia X said the following about possibly restarting the Kuala Lumpur-London direct service:
We are still in discussion with Airbus to see whether we want to do extra-long routes. Basically we could go from Kuala Lumpur to London. On current specs, we can’t go to London, but with the new specs of the Airbus A330NEO, we could go direct London from KL. That will be the winner for us.
AirAsia canceled the route back in 2012, largely because of the large fuel costs created by Airbus A340, which they used on the route. However, as the A330NEO is much more fuel-efficient, the budget airline could soon return to flying to UK.
AirAsia X Expanding Capacity to Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast
At the same time, AirAsia X is expanding capacity on flights to Australia, namely to Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
Mr Ismail said:
Last year was a bit of a tough year and the year before we were forced to take some capacity out as the airline went through the second half of this year after finalizing a restructure and $100M capital raising last year to repair its balance sheet.
But Malaysia Airlines has gone through a restructure that has seen capacity reduce in the market and we’ve been there to fill in that gap. So moving towards second half of the year we will be adding capacity back into the market.
According to those capacity upgrades, AAX would increase the number of flights from KL to Sydney and Melbourne to twice daily (14 per week) and to the Gold Coast to 11 services from the current 7. At the same time, the carrier is also in talks with the South Australian government about flights to Adelaide.
Speaking of Australia, traffic from this continent was a big part of the KL-London route and reopening the route would be good news for Aussie travelers for sure.