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AirAsia X to restart London flights in 2018 with Airbus A330neo jets

By David Flynn     Filed under: AirAsia X

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.

 

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1 on 26/11/14 by sagidec

good move. bring in more competition meaning full service carriers could drop their prices a little bit more.

20 hours flying from down under to london, could do with some comfort with the full service carriers.

2 on 26/11/14 by Michael

From a leisure passenger perspective: great news!

But it isn't for the weak, no checked baggage on a flight that long & 9 abreast A330s make for a long trip. (10 abreast A350s to come!)

1 on 4/12/14 by chewkc65

You're right about the 9-abreast A330.  Makes me cringe just with the thought of sitting in a 16.5" seat for 13 hrs to LGW.  And I don't think much of the food.  Just a small meal pack with an equally small container of water.  You need to pay a lot if you want more.  Water is always a precious commodity for me on long flights.

3 on 26/11/14 by leisuretraveler

if you google air asia x, you will get a lot of news articles about how they lost $42 million in the Sept quarter on their opersations to/from Australia and suggesting they are about to substantially reduce their flights to/from Australia.

London and Hawai must be the destinations they are looking at, to place surplus aircraft as a result of cancelling some of their australian flights

 

1 3 days, 13 hours ago by Chris_PER

I expect Gold Coast to be withdrawn once Auckland goes direct.

1 3 days, 11 hours ago by afloskar

They will probably withdraw it as well due to BNE-KUL route that will be launched

4 4 days, 3 hours ago by xt_20

AirAsiaX is a Malaysian airline, not an Indonesian one :) 

Also, they first flew to Stansted, then changed to Gatwick, not the other way round.  

5 3 days, 15 hours ago by Chris_PER

Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure charters and low cost airlines are banned at Heathrow.  Besides, the low fares surely cant offset the cost of a take-off / landing slot...

Hedging my money on Gatwick.

 

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