An aviation revolution has arrived in Asia with the official launch of AirAsia Xâ€'s ï¿¡99 / RM499 flights from London to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Bookings opened yesterday for the five times weekly direct flights which begin in March 2009 between London Stansted and Kuala Lumpur International Airportâ€'s Low Cost Carrier Terminal.
Air travel between the UK and Asia will never be the same again with fares at just ï¿¡99 / RM499 each way; the London-Kuala Lumpur route will be more accessible and affordable than ever. Air travel from London to Malaysia typically costs in the region of ï¿¡500-ï¿¡600 / RM2,520-RM3,024.
The London-KL route is a major step in AirAsiaâ€'s realising its international aspirations, and strengthens Kuala Lumpur as the regional aviation hub and gateway into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, â€œAirAsia Xâ€'s London-Kuala Lumpur route is the realisation of a long-held ambition to open up affordable access between Malaysia and Europe for both ASEAN and European communities.? We have an incredible route network and at ï¿¡99, the opportunity for Londoners and Europeans to explore the ASEAN region has never been greater.â€
â€œBeing a truly ASEAN airline, we are committed to promoting tourism and travel throughout and beyond that region. This new route will benefit everyone, enabling magnificent holidays in beautiful locations, encouraging economic and tourism activity, bringing in revenue and creating job opportunities.â€
â€œAirAsia X and AirAsia boast a brand new modern fleet of Airbus aircraft fitted with leather seats and spacious cabins, diverse selections of hot meals and high quality service plus fun and friendly cabin crew. On top of that, our On Time Guarantee and the recent â€˜No Fuel Surchargeâ€'initiative will further improve the AirAsia experience. As time passes, there will be more promotions and the fare could well fall further â€" we always look to make the fare as low as possibleâ€, he added.
The new route will be serviced by an Airbus A340 aircraft with a 286 passenger capacity including 30 premium XL seats.
AirAsia X flies to the Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne in Australia, Hangzhou in China and now London, bringing the well known brand on to a global stage.
Via AirAsiaâ€'s major hubs in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, passengers can enjoy unparalleled access to destinations throughout Asia, including Phuket, Borneo, Bali, Angkor Wat, and Ho Chi Minh City.
AirAsia X Chief Executive Officer, Azran Osman-Rani said, â€œThe London route is a significant achievement for us, allowing those who have always wanted to travel between Europe and ASEAN to achieve their dream, at an affordable price. We are looking to expand from five flights per week to a daily service in the near future.â€
â€œWe have always been enthusiastic to venture into Europe since we launched. The establishment of this route is a significant achievement for us and is a reflection of our commitment to expanding international operations. Like Kuala Lumpurâ€'s Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) - the gateway of ASEAN - Londonâ€'s Stansted has true potential to be the gateway of Europe. Our renowned low-fare offerings will stimulate more demand from the European community to discover ASEAN and vice versaâ€, Azran concludes.
Commercial and Development Director BAA Stansted, Nick Barton, said, "Todayâ€'s announcement is not only exciting news for Stansted but a significant milestone for low-cost, long haul air travel around the world.? AirAsia X recognises the growth potential at Stansted and we're delighted to have been selected as the UK Gateway from which they will launch this first low-cost, non-stop flight, between London and Kuala Lumpur that offers exciting onward connections across Asia and to Australia.??
"This is set to be a hugely popular link for business and leisure travellers seeking affordable long-haul travel options, and we're looking forward to supporting AirAsia X as they develop their services from Stansted."
AirAsia X has won a string of industry awards including New Airline of The Year 2008 by the Centre for Pacific Aviation (CAPA), Best Budget Airline in Asia in the recent SmartTravelAsia.com â€˜2008 Best in Travel Pollâ€', and Best Newcomer at the 2008 Budgie World Low Cost Airline Awards.
Booking begins 25 November 2008 (at 12pm London time, 8pm Malaysia) for the travel period of 11 March 2009 â€" 24 October 2009. Fares start from as low as ï¿¡99 / RM499? for economy seats and ï¿¡549 / RM1,999 for XL seats respectively.