AirAsias low-cost long haul

By Administrator |

AirAsia has launched its first low-cost long-haul route between Asia and Europe using an A340 flying between Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia and London Stansted five times per week.

Unlike many low-cost airlines, AirAsia goes to some trouble to inform its passengers that it does not impose any fuel surcharges. However, there is a question mark over how competitive its fares really are.

For example, according AirAsia's website today a single from London Stansted to Kuala Lumpur costs ?397 ($554) and a return some ?284 ($396,) bringing a total return ticket price to a cost of ?681 ($950) – or ?699 ($976) – depending on whether you are travelling in March or April. This excludes taxes and fees.

But whether this is competitive enough remains to be seen. For example, this month a super saver return ticket from Malaysian Airlines from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur International Airport costs ?643.80 ($898) including taxes and a flexi saver ticket from Singapore Airlines (Heathrow-Singapore-Kuala Lumpur) costs ?605.40 ($845).

Whether we have missed something here, or Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines are responding to AirAsia's launch with low prices of their own remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the UK to Malaysia market was said to be worth 400,000 passengers in 2008 and AirAsia's only direct point-to-point competition is currently Malaysia Airlines (MAS). As has been well documented, the airline already offers an onboard inflight duty free service.


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