Air Asia won’t fly to mainland USA

Air Asia is one carrier which has always fascinated me but also eluded me. I’ve to give it to Tony Fernandes for building a carrier of scale out of Malaysia and then scaling it out to other parts of South East Asia. They now operate a carrier in India as well.


About 6 months ago, AirAsiaX, the long haul arm of Air Asia, received permission from the US FAA to fly to the US. Per the carrier:

The airline is the first Asian low-cost carrier to secure approval to operate scheduled passenger flights to the US.

The approval allows AirAsia’s long-haul, low-cost sister airline to operate services to any destination within the US.

AirAsia X is currently considering flights to several US states including Hawaii as part of its route expansion plans.

AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said, “This is a major milestone for AirAsia X. Our expansion up until now has concentrated on Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, and we are excited about our first foray into an entirely new market as we look beyond Asia Pacific.”

And indeed they did parachute into Hawaii. The airline will be commencing operations of their flight between Kuala Lampur and Hawaii (via Osaka) tomorrow, June 28, 2017. The airline has a fleet of 22 A330s, along with 76 A330s/A350s on order. These planes are largely economy, but do have some angled-flat premium seats as well.

However, it seems the airline has dropped plans altogether to go into mainland US and also resume flights to London. Tony Fernandes, the group CEO, took to Twitter a few days ago to share his thought process.

So, it seems No California, no Vegas for Air Asia, only Hawaii. So I’m wondering where will all the new AirAsiaX planes fly to then?


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