AirAsia X aims to fully recover within 2 years


AIRASIA X Bhd (AAX) aims to recover with passenger capacity returning to pre-Covid-19 levels within the next two years.

Its CEO Benyamin Ismail (fourth from right) said the target is based on the resumption of long-haul operations earlier this year, and is in line with the resumption of long-haul travel demand as many countries have reopened their international border gates.

He added that after two years of having to suspend AAX flights, the group remains optimistic and excited to return to being among the key players in the long-haul flight segment.

“However, we still need to be careful in increasing our capacity. AAX needs to first ensure that the intended route is able to provide re-value.

“Through the evaluation and planning implemented by AAX, we project that it will reach the level before Covid-19 within two years.

“If the market rebounds faster, of course we will speed up all planning. But if it moves moderately, we will take our time to reach pre-Covid-19 capacity,” he said during a press conference after the AAX relaunch in Kuala Lumpur today.

Also present were AAX chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun (centre) and Capital A (commercial) president Colin Currie (fourth from left).

When asked about AAX’s move to take back its previously retrenched employees, Benyamin said it has always been a priority for his party including AAX.

He noted that the group is currently focusing on re-strengthening its aviation operations with its existing workforce.

“If AAX is able to rise sharply again, reach its aircraft utilisation target and require a return of manpower, of course we will reopen this job opportunity.

“We are really looking forward to taking back our pilots as well as our cabin crew gradually,” he said.

Benyamin also highlighted that AAX’s strategic new model, which combines cargo and passenger services, benefits the group.

He said what AAX has implemented is unlikely to be done by other airlines.

By making operations for flights to more distant routes such as Dubai, Istanbul and London, it would ensure AAX could compete commercially and be more affordable to customers.

AAX announced that it will start long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to new routes, namely London, Dubai and Istanbul in the fourth quarter of this year.

Additionally, AAX also introduced four new routes to Japan and Hawaii which will go on sale from June 15, 2022.

Benyamin said AAX now offers flights to seven popular routes from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi, Sydney, Seoul (Incheon), Tokyo (Haneda), Sapporo (Chitose) and Osaka (Kansai), and from Osaka (Kansai) to Honolulu.

He said all these routes are available for booking starting today until June 26, 2022, for the travel period between July 1, 2022, and March 26, 2023, starting from RM499 for economy seats and from RM1,499 for Premium Flatbed seats.

Meanwhile, Capital A Bhd executive chairman and AAX founder Kamarudin said the relaunch of the AAX was a meaningful day as the group’s long-haul aviation arm once again spreads its wings with renewed vigour.

He said the resumption of four popular medium-haul routes and the announcement of three new long-haul services today are a significant milestone following the most challenging time in aviation history.

“We are thrilled to return to London and to launch flights for the first time to Dubai and Istanbul.

“This is an incredibly exciting day as AAX returns to the skies refreshed and rejuvenated,” he added.