AirAsia X has confirmed London as the first route for its new long-range Airbus A330-900neo fleet due in 2018.
The Malaysian airline will make good on long-held plans to restart flights between Kuala Lumpur and London, which it axed in 2012 due to high fuel costs of its four-engine A340 fleet.
The fuel-efficient A330-900neo jets are tipped to sport new Premium class seats, although AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes earlier this year told Australian Business Traveller there are no plans to change from the current angled flat-bed (below) to a fully lie-flat bed.
Additionally, some of the economy seats could be converted into a 'bed-like experience' and sold to a single traveller.
AirAsia X CEO Ben Ismail, speaking with AirlineRatings.com, said that London would spearhead the airline's European expansion once the A330-900neo jets arrive, with Frankfurt and Rome also on the cards.
The only question that remains is which airport would be used to serve the British capital.
"For us, it's all about the airport deal," Ismail explained. "If we can find a very attractive airport deal with good takeoff and landing slots, we'll go for that."
"We're confident we can stimulate any airport that we go into so (in London) it may be Stansted, it may be Gatwick or, if I'm the luckiest person in the world, Heathrow would be great."
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.