Low-cost, long-haul carrier AirAsia X has this past week further expanded capacity into China from its Kuala Lumpur International Airport base with a new direct flight to the city of Chongqing. This is its sixth destination in the country and complements existing flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Xi’An.
DON'T MISS this year's Routes Asia forum which takes place in the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan Province between March 15-17, 2015. FIND OUT more about the network development event for the region on our event landing page.
The new four times weekly route was inaugurated on February 13, 2015 and is the only direct flight between the Malaysian capital and Jiangbei International Airport in Chongqing, one of the five national central cities in China. The city is a major manufacturing centre and transportation hub and serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze basin.
“We are proud to be the first and only airline to offer direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Chongqing, the gateway to the Yangtze River,” said Benyamin Ismail, acting chief executive officer of AirAsia X. “The addition of this latest route will enable us to further strengthen our network into China and boost passenger traffic growth as we link AirAsia’s robust network across ASEAN to China.”
“We will continue our strategy of dominating out core markets in North Asian, especially China. This is made possible with the continuous support rendered by China’s Airport authorities, regulators and relevant authorities.”
Acting Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia X
“We will continue our strategy of dominating out core markets in North Asian, especially China. This is made possible with the continuous support rendered by China’s Airport authorities, regulators and relevant authorities.”Benyamin Ismail
AirAsia X began its Chinese operations in February 2008 when it introduced flights between Kuala Lumpur and Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou. It latter added flights to Tianjin’s Binhai International Airport from April 2009 and Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport from February 2010. The Tianjin flights were switched after slots were secured at Beijing’s Capital International Airport from July 2012, while services to Shanghai’s PuDong International Airport commenced in February 2013 and flights to Xi’an’s Xianyang International Airport started in July 2014.
The airline has carried more than 3.6 million passengers on its flights in and out China, with an average passenger load of 82 per cent, according to company data. It now operates almost 40 flights per week to China, albeit this number increases to a high of 44 weekly flights for the current week to support Chinese New Year demand.
“We will continue our strategy of dominating out core markets in North Asian, especially China. This is made possible with the continuous support rendered by China’s Airport authorities, regulators and relevant authorities,” added Benyamin.
In our chart, below, we look in greater detail at Air Asia X’s growth in China since its debut in 2008. The chart displays the airline’s annual seat capacity into the Chinese market by destination. Last year, AirAsia X offered almost 600,000 seats in each direction, up 26.5 per cent on the previous year. According to published schedules for the remainder of this year capacity is set to rise 20.3 per cent during 2015.