Feb 9, 2008

10,000 Seats to Hangzhou Snapped Up : AirAsia X expands with second international route

Air Asia X : 10,000 Seats to Hangzhou Snapped Up
10,000 Seats to Hangzhou Snapped Up : AirAsia X expands with second international route.

AirAsia X, the pioneer of low-cost, long-haul air travel, today commemorated the official launch of its inaugural Kuala Lumpur – Hangzhou flight at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Following its much anticipated announcement of this second international destination on the 15th of January with promotional RM99 fares, 10,000 seats valued at over RM5 million have been snapped up for travel in February and March, ahead of today’s first flight in the run up to the upcoming Lunar New Year..

The pioneer passengers were welcomed upon check-in by AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani, clad in a festive red Chinese outfit. He received mandarin oranges and was entertained by a traditional lion dance, adding to the festive atmosphere in the packed LCCT. Azran subsequently joined the passengers on the flight where he was received at Hangzhou Airport by senior city and airport officials, eager to welcome the first direct international service from Kuala Lumpur and Southeast Asia.

This initial success of the five-weekly Hangzhou route follows back to the AirAsia X’s first international destination to the Gold Coast, Australia, where 60,000 seats have been sold and flights frequently at a near-full capacity in the past couple of months since the first flight on 2 November. A survey of AirAsia X passengers by the Gold Coast Airport indicates that 45% are destined for the Gold Coast, 35% for Brisbane, and the remaining passengers use Gold Coast Airport as a convenient transit to final destinations in New South Wales, Melbourne, Adelaide, and New Zealand. This proves that it is a viable alternative airport for Brisbane residents.

The use of secondary airports provided AirAsia X with the impetus to select Hangzhou airport, where it can serve not only the 6 million residents of Hangzhou and 80 million in its Zhejiang province, but also serve as a secondary airport to key cities such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing and Wuhan, each with convenient ground transportation links from Hangzhou.

Hangzhou itself is poised to receive a major tourism boost with this AirAsia X service, as it welcomes visitors from Malaysia, Southeast Asia and Australia from AirAsia’s leading low-cost network. Hangzhou is regarded as the tourism capital of China, with its natural beauty and historical and cultural heritage. Known as one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, Hangzhou has a history of more than 2200 years and is one of seven ancient Chinese capitals. It is also the centre for its famous Longjin green tea and silk.

“We’re extremely pleased with the reception we’ve received since announcing that AirAsia X would become the first airline to service Hangzhou from Kuala Lumpur,” Azran said. “Hangzhou marks the starting point of our extended network of cities in mainland China. As our first northern China destination, this route compliments existing AirAsia routes in Southern China.”

AirAsia X is offering fares for one-way travel between Kuala Lumpur and Hangzhou starting from a low RM199.00* or CNY$479. Passengers can book online at www.airasia.com * All fares quoted are excluding airport taxes, surcharges and fees, and are applicable for one way travel.

“The launch of this second route in three months, alongside our super low fares, is testament to AirAsia X’s goal to make international travel accessible for all travelers,” Mr Osman-Rani said. “It is an important addition to our expanding network and opens up yet another option for passengers who are increasingly using Kuala Lumpur as a connecting gateway or jumping-off point for Asia.”

This launch also coincides with the Chinese New Year and offers the opportunity for people to renew social ties between families and friends during this festive period.

AirAsia X is the extension of AirAsia’s successful short haul low cost model in South East Asia. It aims to build on AirAsia’s tradition of revolutionizing the short haul, low cost carrier model by introducing a number of features unique to the long-haul service. The airline will bring independence to the long-haul low cost travellers by providing an innovative product offering, ensuring passengers will enjoy a level of comfort and convenience suited for long-haul travel.

AirAsia X offers passengers the choice of flying Economy in a 32-inch seat (similar to many airlines) or XL in a 52-inch seat, XL seats cost about twice the average Economy fare.

Source : Air Asia

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