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AirAsia X launches low fare
London to KL flight

AIRASIA X, the low-cost, long-haul affiliate of AirAsia launched its STG99/RM499 flight from London to Kuala Lumpur, at London's County Hall yesterday.

The five times weekly direct flights, using the Airbus A340, will begin in March next year, and will be from London Stansted Airport to Kuala Lumpur International Airport low cost carrier terminal.

The STG99 fare is for one way inclusive of tax. The usual travel fare from London to Malaysia is between STG500 and STG600 (RM2,700 and RM3,200).

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the London-Kuala Lumpur route was the realisation of a long held ambition to open up affordable access between Malaysia and Europe for both Asian and European communities.

London is AirAsia X's fifth destination after Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne in Australia and Hangzhou in China.
"We have an incredible route network, and at STG99, the opportunity for Londoners and Europeans to the Asian region has never been greater," Fernandes said at the launch.

According to AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani, the London route was a significant achievement, allowing travel at an affordable price.

"We are looking to expanding the five flights per week to a daily service in the future," Azran said.

Booking for the flights opened on AirAsia's website beginning yesterday until Sunday for the travel period of March 11-Oct 24, 2009.

Later, speaking to Malaysian journalists, Fernandes said he expected the fare to go down as the number of flights increased.

On why he decided to launch the London-Kuala Lumpur route at a time when the global economy was not so good, Fernandes said: "You can either put your head in the sand, or you can do something about it. We chose the latter.

"We cannot continue to wait for the government to make cuts and provide subsidies.

"We have to fight our way out of this," he said, adding that the Malaysian government had been very supportive of AirAsia and this was one way AirAsia could give back to the country.


From Zaharah Othman in London
Copied at 26 November 2008

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