Malaysian low-cost, long-haul carrier Air Asia X has inaugurated flights between its Kuala Lumpur International Airport base and XiÁn, the ancient origin of the Silk Road. The city is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the northwest of the country and is one of four Great Ancient Capitals of China, formerly being known as Chang'an before the Ming dynasty. The historic Silk Road originated in Chang’an and went along the northern Tien-Shan to Dunhua, the city near the Great Wall of China.
The new Air Asia X service to XiÁn’s Xianyang International Airport was launched on July 2, 2014 and represents its fifth link into China after Hangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, and Shanghai. The low-cost carrier is offering four flights per week on the route, the only airline providing direct flights between the city and Kuala Lumpur.
"Adding XiÁn into our ever growing network in China proves our commitment in our growth strategies in the Asia Pacific region and will further expand the airlines reach in North Asia. The airline has in total carried 2.7 million passengers to date into/from China from Kuala Lumpur with an average passenger load of 82 per cent,” said Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive officer, AirAsia X.
”With XiÁn added on our network, we expect to see our total revenue increase to over 17 per cent with more than one million guests flying into/from our China routes from Kuala Lumpur this year," he added.
XiÁn has always been a global destination and has attracted visitors from all over the world and although most famous as the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta warriors of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, it has a lot more historical culture to offer.
Attractions include the discovery site of The Lantian Man, and the Great Wild Goose Pagoda which was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India. XiÁn also has a famous Muslim Quarter where guests can experience the Chinese Muslim food, learn about Chinese Islamic culture and visit China's biggest and oldest mosque a. Nature lovers can also opt for a hiking tour up the Green Dragon Ridge, to take in breath taking views of the surrounding areas.
In our analysis, below, we look at the largest O&D international markets from XiÁn in 2013 and how demand has changed since 2003. The largest international market in and out of XiÁn is South Korea followed by Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Malaysia is currently ranked 12th with around 8,500 annual passengers, a figure that is certain to rise following the new AirAsia X service. The chart clearly illustates the growing demand in and out of XiÁn with nine of the ten largest markets in 2013 showing notable growth oer the past ten years, the only exception being Japan where demand fell by a half in 2013.