AAX to axe Christchurch route next?

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

PETALING JAYA: After announcing its withdrawal from popular European and Indian cities earlier this year, AirAsia X (AAX) is set to axe its KL-Christchurch-KL route, according to a source.

“It may announce the cut as early as this week and suspend flights within the next few months,” the source added.

Those in the know claimed that the airline was making losses on the route although it did stimulate demand for the twice weekly flights to New Zealand.

In January, AAX said it would stop flying to London, Paris, New Delhi and Mumbai. It is learnt that AAX is moving away from long-haul to medium-haul flights.

“We see this as a change in network strategy as it is moving away from the longer flights,” CAPA Centre for Aviation senior analyst Brendan Sobie said.

AAX seemed to be focusing on routes that were in the eight to nine-hour flying radius and it would take 13 hours to fly to London or Paris and 11 hours to Christchurch.

The only other Asean airline to fly into Christchurch is Singapore Airlines which operates on a daily basis.

Sobie said that the farther an airline flew, the higher its cost and for LCCs, cost management is a big part of its business. He added that the biggest cost advantage for LCCs was really shorter flights.

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