AirAsia X is will begin daily flights from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur on April 2nd, giving business travellers to Malaysia an alternative to national flag-carrier MAS.
The low-cost airline's daily service from Sydney (D7-223) will depart at 10.55am and arrive into Kuala Lumpur at 5.25pm; the return red-eye (flight D7-222) will leave KL at 11.45pm for wheels down into Sydney at 9.45am the next day.
(The first KL-Sydney flight will depart Kuala Lumpur on April 1st.)
The service will run on an Airbus A330 with a 'Premium' business class cabin of 12 seats which convert into an inclined or sloping flat-bed (as opposed to a 'lie-flat' bed which collapses into a fully horizontal position).
(Compare angled lie-flat seats with the fully flat beds offered on some routes with our guide to business class seats and beds.)
But with 20 inch seat width, 60 inches of pitch (and a 77 inch length when fully reclined), laptop power and all the other usual niceties, matched to the KL-based challenger's keen prices, it could prove a compelling alternative to Malaysia Airlines...
One caveat is that travellers will arrive at Kuala Lumpur's drab Low Cost Carrier Terminal, which is almost a 'second airport' without any integration into KLIA.
Another is that, with AirAsia X dropping flights from KL to London (and Paris) from the end of March, we'll miss out on a cost-effective KL version of the Kangaroo Route.
AirAsia X is offering one-way introductory fares of $499 for Premium Class (and $99 for Economy), on sale from 2pm EST today at AirAsia.com.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.