Can AirAsia X succeed the second time round?

Courtesy AirAsia

Courtesy AirAsia

AirAsia X, the long-haul offshoot of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia, plans to revive its European operations. It commenced operations from Kuala Lumpur to London in 2009 and to Paris in 2011, a bold move following the collapse of Hong Kong’s Oasis Airlines in 2008. But AirAsia X’s inability to sustain the operations, which were suspended in 2012, continued to cast doubt on the viability of the budget business for the long haul.

Announcing the carrier’s order for 25 twin-engine Airbus A330 aircraft valued at US$6 billion, AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said: “It’s time to really take that next step and build the equivalent of an Emirates in the low-cost arena.” He added: “The world doesn’t wait.”

Apparently the older aircraft that AirAsia X previously used were not economical. Will AirAsia X be more successful in its “next step” with the new equipment? The jury is still out on this as the economics must depend on the demand given the state of the global economy, volatility of the fuel price, the preference of consumers vis-à-vis not just the cost of flying but the value of such a proposition. Not quite sure about the world not waiting, but it is also known that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Interestingly, Mr Fernandes is ditching its nemesis Singapore Airlines (SIA) for Emirates as the model to emulate. He may have just sounded a timely alert to SIA on the way the competition is shifting in the bigger arena.

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About Dingzi
Writer by passion, with professional expertise in aviation, customer service and creative writing. Aviation veteran, author, editor and management consultant. Besides commentary on business issues and life-interest topics, travel stories and book reviews, genres include fiction, poetry and plays. Nature lover who abhors cruelty of any form to animals, and a tireless traveler. Above all, a dreamer.

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