India will be big for AirAsia X, says Fernandes


KUALA LUMPUR: India will be a big market for long-haul budget carrier, AirAsia X, which just launched the Kuala Lumpur-Jaipur route, said AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes.

He also signalled that Amritsar could be the airlines’ next destination.

“Yesterday we launched Jaipur. And @Benyaminismail is in Amritsar today. A route that many have asked us to do. India will be big for Airaisa X,” he tweeted.

Benyamin Ismail is AirAsia X Malaysia’s chief executive officer.

“Super proud of the turnaround happening at AirAsia X. We need to finish off cleaning up the balance sheet in the fourth quarter, but we are going to have a good year in 2018,” said Fernandes.

He also said Thai AirAsia X was booming.

“We are now taking the very good value (Airbus) 330 to fill our capacity before moving to the next generation of aircraft, either the (Airbus) 330 neo or (Boeing) 787. I am very, very bullish on AirAsia X,” he added.

Overall, Fernandes said it would be a good year for the low-cost airline industry.

“Stars lining up, ringgit strengthening and oil going down as we predicted. There is just too much oil and with shale, fuel demand will continue to go down,” he said on Twitter.

At 9am, the ringgit opened higher at 3.8970/9000 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 3.9135/9165.

Coupled with the drive by all governments to build low-cost carrier terminals and competition bringing about rationalisation, “it’s good times,” Fernandes said.