AirAsia X eyes new Asia-Pacific routes

  • Business
  • Friday, 29 Jul 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: AIRASIA X will not fly to additional European destinations anytime soon as it is setting its sights on new Asia-Pacific routes, said chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani.

He said an announcement would be made soon on which of the five approved routes it would be flying.

The airline, which is the long-haul affiliate of budget airlines AIRASIA, received approval the Transport Ministry’s approval in June to fly to Istanbul, Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka and Jeddah.

The two European destinations it flies to are London and Paris.

“We are looking at two routes for now and will probably announce one next month. It also depends on the availability of planes,” said Azran.

He was speaking to reporters yesterday after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British High Commission to sponsor flights for 10 of the 15 Malaysian Chevening scholarship recipients who commence their studies this year.

Among the 15 recipients are The Star’s youth portal R.AGE editor Niki Cheong, who is pursuing his Masters in digital culture and society at King’s College, and former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, who will be studying Islamic studies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic studies.

Azran said plans to move the airline’s British hub from Stanstead to Gatwick from Oct 24 were on schedule, and reiterated that AirAsia’s headquarters would remain in Malaysia despite its plans to open a small Asean office in Jakarta.

Acting British High Commissioner Ray Kyles thanked AirAsia for their support and hoped their involvement could help increase the number of scholarships awarded in the future.

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