AirAsia X reportedly suspended plans to launch Kuala Lumpur-Manchester service due to the UK Government’s plans to increase its Air Passenger Duty (APD) (Airwise, 25-Oct-2010). Manchester Airport's Head of Government and Industry Affairs, Brian Conway, stated the carrier had been in talks with the airport for “many months” but chose to launch services to Paris Orly Airport instead due to the government tax being too high. UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond responded stating the government is aware it is making UK airports and airlines more highly taxed than competitors, but it needs to meet its twin goals of cutting the deficit and meeting aviation growth while also meeting climate change targets. He added the government has started developing a new national aviation policy, to be introduced by the end of 2012. Mr Hammond said the new policy would encourage growth at regional airports.
AirAsia X drops plans for Manchester due to tax
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AirAsia X Part 2: LCC's Australian expansion could include Brisbane, Canberra, Nth Queensland
Malaysia’s AirAsia X is considering the launch of services to several new gateways in Australia. Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra and Townsville are all under consideration as the medium/long haul low cost group resumes expansion.
AirAsia X is also considering launching nonstop flights from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland. The airline launched services to Auckland via the Gold Coast in Mar-2016 and the route has so far exceeded its expectations, prompting it to consider a nonstop product for Auckland and one-stop services to secondary destinations in New Zealand.
This is the second in a series of analysis reports on AirAsia X. The first report looked at the resumption of capacity expansion in the Australia-Malaysia market in 2016 with additional flights to existing markets. This report focuses on possible new destinations in Australia for 2017, and potential growth in New Zealand.
AirAsia X Part 1: Australia-Malaysia expansion resumes, while competitor Malaysia Airlines steadies
AirAsia X is resuming expansion in the Australia-Malaysia market, offsetting cuts which were implemented in early 2015 as part of a restructuring. The long haul low cost airline will operate 56 weekly flights between Australia and Malaysia in late 2016, matching its previous high of 56 weekly flights in late 2014.
AirAsia X is now looking at further expanding its network in Australia with several potential new destinations. Additional capacity to its four existing destinations – Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – is also under consideration.
Cuts at Malaysia Airlines have opened up a potential opportunity for AirAsia X to add more capacity to Australia’s four primary cities – where Malaysia Airlines has relinquished traffic rights. AirAsia X has already added capacity from Jul-2016 to the Gold Coast, where there are no bilateral restrictions, and is adding three seasonal weekly frequencies to Melbourne from early Dec-2016.