Kuala Lumpur based AirAsia’s medium/long-haul airline AirAsia X has received approval from the FAA to offer scheduled passenger service to the United States.
The airline has shown interest to start flying to Hawaii and other (western) States. The AirAsia X currently flies to destinations within Asia and the Middle East. AirAsia X flew briefly to London but withdrew from the route, although is said to be considering it again.
You can read more about this on the Malay Mail Online (access here) of which below is an excerpt:
Malaysia’s AirAsia X Bhd said it had become Asia’s first low-cost carrier to receive approval to operate scheduled passenger flights to any destination within the United States.
The long-haul airline in a statement said it gained approval from the United States’ Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and that it was considering flights to several US states, including Hawaii.
“Our expansion up until now has concentrated on Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, and we are excited about our first foray into an entirely new market as we look beyond Asia Pacific,” Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said in the statement today.
This certainly is an interesting move. They probably have planes that can handle Kuala Lumpur – Hawaii direct flights. Flights from Kuala Lumpur to any other parts of the United States would likely have to be one-stop services via various Asian gateways such as Taipei or Tokyo.
You have to bear in mind that there is no such a thing as one AirAsia. There are Air Asia (Malaysia), AirAsia X (Malaysia), Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia, AirAsia India and they were planning to restart something in Japan as well.
I have flown with AirAsia several times on short-haul routes to/from/within Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I have no problem flying with the airline, and luckily the flights that I have been on haven’t been that full. Not sure if I could survive on a completely full AirAsia flight for more than an hour.
Good that there are soon more options for traveling between Asia and the United States. Surely the established players must be (not) pleased about new low cost entrants to the pacific routes while being attacked by low cost airlines such as Norwegian and WOW on transatlantic ones.
Competition is always good for the consumers.