Aug 08

Air Asia X CrewAwhile ago we were discussing, if it’s a wise or safe decision to fly a Budget Carrier long-haul. However your opinion is about that subject – luckily time didn’t stop and some of the usual suspects seem to follow through with the idea.

Even if you don’t like the idea to fly long-distance or intercontinental flights with a no-frills airline; it surely would mean more competition and hopefully lower prices for all of us.

So what’s the news?

It seems that there is some movement in the sector, Asian Aviation pioneer Tony Fernandes looks like he’s teaming up with creative aviation individualist Richard Branson, to really make cheaper long-distance flights possible for everyone.

Although it looks like a slow start – with 1 plane only for now – the prospected destinations for 2008 look more than promising.

Let’s hope they come up with cheap routes to Europe soon, so that the so-called “Full Service Airlines” have to change their current high price policies as well, as it currently costs you anything between Euro 750 – 1.000 for a return ticket Europe-Asia or vice versa.

There is hope as well, that with the introduction of the new Airbus 380 to service later this year – and the increasing capacities that comes with it – prices will decrease again.

Are we there yet?

Does the future look bright for long distance travelers?

We can’t know yet for sure, but things certainly are clearing up.

Here today’s news in detail:

Virgin Boost For AirAsiaX – Branson may take up stake next month

Fly Asian Express (FAX)’s long-haul budget carrier, AirAsiaX, is set to get a boost from British billionaire Richard Branson as it taxis for takeoff, perhaps as early as next month.

Speaking at a press conference at the Global Brand Forum yesterday, AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes (picture) sidestepped questions about reports that the Virgin Group boss would have a stake in the airline, but said: “I can’t give you a precise (start) date because we’re still tying up with regulators. It’ll be sometime in September and October.”

FAX’s principle shareholders include Mr Fernandes and Air Asia deputy CEO Kamarudin Meranum.

“Come Friday, you will see the power of the AirAsia brand. I think it shows what a little Malaysian company can do. And hopefully it can give inspiration to many, many brands,” said Mr Fernandes.

If the deal materialises, it would be the first South- east Asian airline to offer low-cost long-haul flights, joining such airlines as Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, which offers one-way fares as low as HK$2000 ($387) between the Chinese territory, London and Vancouver. More importantly, FAX could boost Malaysia’s ambitions to be the regional hub for low-cost airlines.

“We’re only starting with one plane. So we’re starting with only one or two destinations. The airline will start ramping up next year,” said Mr Fernandes.

Air Asia X Starting Soon?“The sad thing about Air AsiaX is I wish I had 10 planes now,” he said.

From its base at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the long-haul low-cost-carrier’s first port of call will be Australia, he said. After that, the airline will look towards China, India, Japan, and Korea.

The new service will begin operations with three leased wide-bodied aircraft, and is negotiating buying as many as 20 Boeing 777-300ER or Airbus 330-300 aircraft.

Other reports said the airline plans to fly 500,000 passengers in the first year, and will, over time, use air rights not utilised by MAS to fly to India, Australia and Europe.

Source: Today Newspaper Singapore, by Joseph Yadao

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written by Chris

One Response to “No-Frills Flights are taking off for Long-Haul Routes!”

  1. Cloudless Sky ahead for Lion Air? | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] they even go for long-haul routes as […]

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