KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X Group (AAX) is increasing the number of its medium-haul Malaysia AirAsia X (D7) flights to 44 per week across 10 routes, while the Thai AirAsia X (XJ) will also be expanding its operations to 22 weekly flights across five routes in the next two months.
AAX has recently launched direct services from Kuala Lumpur to South Korea (Seoul-Incheon) and India (New Delhi), and resumed services to Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth), New Zealand (Auckland), Japan (Tokyo-Haneda and Sapporo -Chitose).
In a statement today, the group has also confirmed new flights to Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) and Taipei starting November.
Meanwhile, Thai AirAsia X has launched services from Bangkok to Japan (Osaka and Tokyo-Narita) and South Korea (Seoul-Incheon), and is preparing to launch new direct flights to Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) and Japan (Sapporo-Chitose) early December.
AAX said all furloughed pilots and retrenched cabin crew will have the opportunity to be back in the sky by December this year.
“Since the pandemic, AAX has already reactivated 175 pilots and 285 cabin crew, including rehiring 131 cabin crew who were retrenched during the pandemic,” it said.
Malaysia AAX chief executive officer, Benyamin Ismail said the airline currently operates four widebody A330 aircraft, and expects to be operating up to 13 aircraft by the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023) to meet the strong and growing demand for medium-haul flights.
“In December, we will not only be adding more destinations but also increasing our flight frequencies on popular routes such as moving to daily services between Kuala Lumpur and Seoul (Incheon) to fly a total of 53 flights weekly.
“Medium-haul air travel is recovering fast and we intend to leverage this opportunity to drive sustainable growth for AAX, providing consumers with greater value and choice,” he said.
According to Benyamin, the airline has been seeing strong forward bookings for the routes and will be resuming more services in its core markets such as Auckland, Melbourne, Perth, Taipei, Tokyo (Haneda) and Sapporo in the next two months.
“Our forward-booking trends remain very encouraging across all key metrics, with higher year-on-year load factors and average fares through Q1 2023.
“We also anticipate a strong uptake for our new flights to Istanbul, Turkey which will be announced soon and would like to thank Malaysia Airports for their support and cooperation.
“We look forward to flying to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (ISG) in the near future,” he added. – Bernama