Thursday March 12, 2009
AirAsia Bhd's long-haul airline, AirAsia X, finally took off to London from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) yesterday with 289 passengers on board, 1 and half years after the plan was first announced.
The maiden flight on an Airbus A340-300 was scheduled to land at Stansted Airport, Britain's third busiest airport.
From left: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd MD and CEO Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Kalimullah Hassan and Azran at the launch on Wednesday.
AirAsia X chairman Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan, chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani, Asean secretary-general Dr Surin Pitsuwan and British High Commissioner to Malaysia Boyd McCleary were present at the launch of the flight.
Azran said the 50% rebate for landing charges would present an opportunity to lower cost and lower fares to passengers.
"As cost becomes lower, we will be passing through in terms of lower fares to our passengers. When we offer low fares, more people will fly.
"We are not afraid of competition because when we have the low-cost structure, it is the best place to offer low fares," he told reporters.
Azran also said AirAsia X was looking at expanding further in Asia-Pacific, and to more destinations in China and Australia.
He said it was also interested in India and the Middle East. London is AirAsia X's fifth international destination after Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne in Australia and Hangzhou in China. AirAsia X will be launching a new route from Kuala Lumpur to Tianjin, China, next month.
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.