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Wednesday November 26, 2008

It’s RM499 to fly to London on AirAsia X

LONDON: It’s £99 or RM499 one-way – that’s the much-awaited opening fare of AirAsia X’s latest London Stansted – Kuala Lumpur route.

And AirAsia Group CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes has pledged to knock down the price to as low as £49 (RM271) once they increase the flight frequencies.

Affordable flights: Fernandes (top, left) and Azran posing with the AirAsia X crew in London yesterday. — Bernama

Saying it would be “cool” to take a £50 note and buy a seat to Kuala Lumpur, he said there was no reason why they could not do it.

“Volume is the key. If we can find the plane and get two or three flights a day, I guarantee you £49 will be a reality,” he told Malaysian journalists after the sales launch of the latest route at London’s County Hall yesterday.

Even with the £99 fare, it’s still cheaper to fly from London to Kuala Lumpur than to take a Black Cab from the city to Stansted Airport, which costs about £110 (RM610) one way!

Malaysians flying to London will also pay RM499 for the return flight while travellers from London going to KLIA will pay £99 (RM541) for the return ticket.

Online bookings opened at 8pm Tuesday (Malaysian time) for the five-times-a-week direct flights which will be for the travel period between March 11 and Oct 24.

Fares start from as low as £99 (RM499) for economy seats and £549 (RM1,999) for XL seats – inclusive of airport taxes and charges.

The latest flights will use Airbus A340 planes which will have 286 economy and 30 premium seats.

Fernandes said his next step would be to increase the five times weekly flights to daily and even two or three times a day.

“The London-Kuala Lumpur route is the realisation of a long-held ambition to open up affordable access between Malaysia and Europe for both the Asean and European communities,” he said.

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman Rani described the London route as a significant achievement, allowing those who had always wanted to travel between Europe and Asean to achieve their dream at an affordable price.

Stansted Airport’s commercial and development director Nick Barton, who finalised discussions with AirAsia X, hailed the launch as a major milestone for low-cost, long-haul air travel around the world.

The latest route is the first step for AirAsia to realise its European aspirations and boost Kuala Lumpur as the regional aviation hub and gateway into Asean, China and Australia.

Stansted is Britain’s third busiest airport, with 22.8 million passengers passing through and many leading low-cost airlines making it their base.

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