Direct flights between Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur are now a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ for AirAsia X, with the Queensland capital central to the low-cost airline’s plans for expansion.
Non-stop flights to KL from regional centres such as Townsville are also being considered, revealed AirAsia X’s Head of Commercial Arik De during an interview with Australian Business Traveller at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit 2016.
“Imagine a service from Townsville to Kuala Lumpur and the benefit that would bring to the people there,” De visualises.
“Brisbane is a cornerstone of our strategy and our plans, it’s there,” he continues, “but it’s not only Brisbane that we’re interested in – instead, also a bunch of Australian cities where we think there is tremendous potential for growth.”
While positioned as a low-fares airline, AirAsia X has appeal to cost-conscious business travellers with its ‘Premium Flatbed’ service on selected aircraft:
It’s still a 'sloping sleeper' rather than a true flat bed, but is a significant step up from the more premium economy-like business class seating found aboard the Boeing 787s of the Qantas-backed Jetstar and Singapore Airlines’ offshoot Scoot.
AirAsia X currently flies from Kuala Lumpur to Queensland’s Gold Coast and recently expanded the route with an onward service between the Gold Coast and Auckland, New Zealand.
Competitor Malaysia Airlines no longer serves Brisbane from KL having axed its own flights there in August 2015, leaving the non-stop Brisbane-KL route currently unserved by any airline.
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