SEPANG, Malaysia 19 October 2022: The AirAsia X Group announced Tuesday it is increasing its Malaysia AirAsia X (D7) flights to 44 weekly across 10 routes and is expanding its Thai AirAsia X (XJ) operations to fly 22 weekly services across five routes in the next two months.
Recently, AAX launched direct services from Kuala Lumpur to South Korea (Seoul-Incheon) and India (New Delhi) and announced the resumption of services to Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth), New Zealand (Auckland), Japan (Tokyo-Haneda and Sapporo-Chitose), with latest confirmed new routes to Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) and Taipei starting November.
Thai AirAsia X has launched services from Bangkok to Japan (Osaka and Tokyo-Narita) and South Korea (Seoul-Incheon). It is preparing to launch new direct routes to Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) and Japan (Sapporo-Chitose) in early December.
As it returns to the skies, AAX remains committed to recalling all furlough pilots and cabin crew. AAX today confirmed that all furloughed pilots and retrenched cabin crew would have the opportunity to be back in the sky by December this year. Since the pandemic, AAX has already reactivated 175 pilots and 285 cabin crew, including rehiring 131 cabin crew who were retrenched during the pandemic.
Acting Group CEO of AAX Tony Fernandes said: “AAX is well and truly back with a focus on returning to our most popular and profitable medium-haul destinations first in the short term, which are historically proven.
“This strategy ensures that the AAX Group can operate at an optimal frequency on our core routes to keep our costs down and deliver the best fares in the market for consumers while, at the same time, maximising our revenues to ensure a successful and viable airline for the future.
“However, the most important thing for me is that we can confirm today that we are bringing back our staff whom we had to let go during Covid. I had committed, and it thrills me that we can honour that in two and a half years as we return to the skies stronger than ever.
“Many pilots and cabin crew are already back in service, but as we continue to grow in line with huge pent-up demand, all of our AAX pilots who are still on furlough will return to the flight deck, together with the retrenched cabin crew by December this year. We are retraining the third batch of rehired cabin crew ahead of strong forecast demand for medium-haul air travel.
“While medium-haul is our priority, we remain focused on launching certain longer-haul destinations like London, Dubai and Istanbul, which we will announce shortly.”
Malaysia AAX CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “Finally, the world borders are reopening, and we are ready to fly high again. Currently, we are operating with four widebody A330 aircraft. As we continue to grow, we expect to operate up to 13 aircraft by the first quarter of 2023 to meet the strong and growing demand for the best value, medium-haul flights.
“Commencing December, we will not only be adding more destinations but also increasing our flight frequencies on popular routes, such as moving to daily services between Kuala Lumpur and Seoul (Incheon) to fly 53 flights weekly. This signals that medium-haul air travel is fast recovering, and we intend to leverage this opportunity to drive sustainable growth for AAX, providing consumers with greater value and choice.
“We are already seeing strong forward bookings for the routes we have restarted post-pandemic, and we will be resuming more services in our core markets such as Auckland, Melbourne, Perth, Jeddah, Taipei, Tokyo (Haneda) and Sapporo in the next two months to cater for the growing travel demand. Our forward-booking trends remain very encouraging across all key metrics, with higher year-on-year load factors and average fares through the first quarter of 2023.