AirAsia X cries foul over Sydney, Seoul

AirAsia X (AAX) has not received approval from government to fly to Sydney and Seoul although the long haul budget carrier had expected to land in Australian city by June, this year.

AirAsia X A330

“We had expected the approvals by the end of March and without a formal word from the Government we are unable to keep to our June time line,’’ AAX chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani told StarBiz yesterday (April 2).

Currently Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flies 12 direct flights on KL - Sydney route. While Jetstar, the other airline plying the route had stopped since 2008.

Making comparisons, Singapore and Bangkok to Sydney stands at 58 and 31 weekly flights respectively.

Azlan told the wide gap between tourist arrivals from Sydney/Seoul to Singapore and Bangkok versus Kuala Lumpur because they have three times more direct flights.

Azran surprised many by lashing out via his tweets on Twitter, alleging that “the (incumbent) is blocking us because they say that route must be protected.” He also alleged that Prime Minister has lack of consistency in what NEP aspired for (i.e private sector should drive growth and innovation).

His statement received backfire from various group include Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and MAS itself.

MAS senior general manager network and revenue management Amin Khan responded that it is just unfair to make such statement in Malaysia and outside the country.

Azran claims that the airline managed to bring in more tourist as he cite example had we not flown to Australia in 2009, would the tourist arrivals from Australia surged by 25% since the incumbent did not add capacity during that period?

  • Azran Osman Rani is chief executive officer of AAX