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PUBLISHED: Jun 19, 2017 10:44pm

Tony Fernandes: Europe not a priority for AirAsia

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Source: Bernama Source:
Bernama

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PARIS, 19 June 2017: 

AirAsia X (AAX) Bhd will stick to its plan to focus on Asia and skip out the Europe sector as it is not relevant for the time being, said AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

The long-haul budget airline would continue with its strategy to fly to destination which takes only between eight to nine hours, Fernandes said in his tweets.

“AirAsia X is flying. Model is working. We have decided that ultra-long haul is not relevant now. Won’t get seduced into price wars over London.”

He also pointed out that the airline would not join the competition among the full-fledged airlines, which were competing to fly to London.

“We let the full-service guys fight it over Europe. Many of them are bleeding so so much.”

In a separate tweet, Fernandes said, the airline would remain with the odd route like Hawaii, which was eight hours from Japan.

The budget carrier last flew to Europe, namely Paris (Orly) and London (Gatwick) in 2012.

However, it stop flying to both destinations as they proved unprofitable as the airline was unable to raise fares to the level it would have liked, thus resulted in AAX withdrawing from both cities four years ago.

AAX’s financial performance is expected to continue its positive momentum in its third and fourth quarter following the encouraging earnings in the first quarter ended 31 March 2017.

“Third and fourth quarter will be best ever quarters,” Fernandes said.

AAX posted RM1.18 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2017, up 22% compared with RM970.67 million in the same period last year.

However, pretax profit dropped to RM31.91 million from RM218.52 million previously.

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