Seven-year-old AirAsia X flies to 18 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Business & Industry Features) Tue, Apr 29, 2014 - Seven-year-old AirAsia X, which flies from Kuala Lumpur to Saudi Arabia and 18 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region including points in Japan, China and Australia, has been the most ambitious of long-haul budget carriers in expanding its fleet and routes. It plans to open a Bangkok-based affiliate, Thai AirAsia X, in June, followed by an Indonesian affiliate later this year. The airline's strategy is to build long-haul bases on the back of AirAsia's extensive short-haul networks and affiliates in the region, focusing on a corridor of demand from North Asia to Australia via Southeast Asia. It expanded capacity by 49 percent in the fourth quarter and plans a 40 percent increase for 2014, up from 19 percent overall in 2013, before scaling back later on, said Azran. In December, AirAsia X placed a $6 billion order for 25 Airbus A330-300 aircraft to challenge network carriers. It expects to end the year with a fleet of 25 and operates 21 planes now. The landscape is getting crowded though. Scoot, the medium and long-haul budget airline owned by deep-pocketed Singapore Airlines, is taking delivery of the first of its 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets this year...

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