SEPANG: AirAsia is expanding its footprint in China with an exclusive direct service between Kuala Lumpur and the coastal city of Tianjin.
Beginning Dec 2, the new route will connect more than 15 million people in Tianjin with South-East Asia and beyond.
AirAsia’s long haul affiliate, AirAsia X will not only provide the only direct service between the cities but also stimulate regional demand through competitive fares.
AirAsia will also double the number of seats on the route between Kuala Lumpur and Changsha in response to popular demand by operating its fleet of wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft by Oct 29.
AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said the two routes would contribute a year-round capacity of over 300,000 additional seats in total to China, thus boosting tourism, trade and economic growth while paving the way towards China’s Year of Tourism and Culture 2020, envisioned by the leaders of both Malaysia and China.
“The announcements mean we are strengthening our foothold in northern China and increasing our overall capacity there – one of our fastest growing markets,” he said.
With the launch of Tianjin as its latest destination, AirAsia will fly to 20 cities in China with 550 weekly direct flights from hubs in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
This follows AirAsia’s grasp of a stronger foothold in the country with 13 new routes this year, including from Don Mueang (Bangkok) to Nanjing, Ningbo and Chengdu; from Kota Kinabalu, Phuket and Krabi to Macau; Phuket to Kunming; Krabi to Hong Kong; Chiang Mai and Clark to Taipei; Manila to Kaohsiung; and Cebu to Shenzhen.
Located in northern China bordering Beijing and Heibei province, Tianjin is a coastal metropolis with many cultural, social and economic elements over the past century.
Its attractions include The Five Great Avenues district, Tianjin Radio and TV Tower and Drum Tower.
Changsha offers a relaxing and scenic experience for visitors to southern central China.