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AIRASIA X Bhd (AAX) is confident that its capacity will return to pre-Covid-19 levels in two years following the long-haul carrier’s flight resumption earlier this year after a two-year hiatus.
“We have to be careful in raising our capacity. We have to be sure of the routes that we are adding.
“Internally, we have projected that we will reach the pre-Covid-19 levels in two years. If the market rebounds faster, we will accelerate that but if not, we will take our time to reach pre-Covid-19 capacity,” AAX chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail told reporters after announcing the airline’s new routes here today.
He said the budget carrier had slowly resumed its flight activities in the last six months to Sydney, New Delhi and Seoul in line with the reopening of international borders across the world.
“Following the announcement today, we are probably going to add more flights to bring in more people to those destinations,” he said.
AAX announced that it would be flying from Kuala Lumpur to London, Dubai and Istanbul this year. In addition, the airline will fly on four new routes to Japan and Hawaii.
Benyamin said the airline was looking to enter Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo as well as fly from Osaka to Honolulu.
“For Istanbul, Dubai and London, we are waiting for the final approvals and time slots. It is not for sale yet but we are targeting to start selling the tickets in a month for those routes,” he said.
He disclosed that AAX would also increase its frequency to Sydney.
Currently, AAX has six aircraft in operation, with another five to be back in service soon. The airline would add another four aircraft to cater for its growing number of routes by year-end.
“Our strategic new model, combining cargo and passengers, enables AirAsia X to fly profitably where other airlines may not be able to, which makes longer-haul routes like Dubai, Istanbul and London commercially viable and more affordable for our guests at the same time,” he added.
On refunds, he said to date, AAX had refunded 80% of unused credits, while the remaining 20% would be completed in a month.
“We are giving credits via travel vouchers to all impacted passengers. Why not cash? Because AirAsia X just went through a (court-sanctioned debt) restructuring process.
“Under the law, we can’t give cash refunds to anybody. The travel vouchers are actually given based on goodwill and we are giving passengers one-for-one for the price they paid for the tickets,” said Benyamin. – Bernama, June 15, 2022.