PARIS: AirAsia X, the long-haul low-fare airline affiliate of the AirAsia Group, plans to fly to Europe by 2016.
Co-founder and director Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the airline is also looking at flying to the United States with the delivery of its newly ordered A330-300s in 2015.
“The margins are thin on these routes but we will do it for the long-term,” Fernandes said on the sidelines of the signing ceremony between AirAsia X and Airbus recently for the firm order of 25 more A330-300s.
At US$6 billion (RM19.7 billion) , this is the world’s largest order in a single purchase agreement by an airline for the A330-300.
Fernandes said AirAsia X aims to be the “Emirates of Southeast Asia”, flying to new destinations and entering new markets such as Mongolia, with 57 confirmed planes by 2019.
The airline has carried more than nine million passengers since commencing operations in 2007, serving 18 destinations across Asia, Australia and the Middle East.
AirAsia X will be riding on the positive growth in the aviation industry, due to rising demand for air travel as well as positive economic growth, he said, adding the aviation industry’s outlook looks positive.
“The opening of klia2, the new budget terminal next year, will give a massive boost to the industry,” he said.
He emphasised on the opportunity for Malaysia to be like Dubai, the world’s leading aviation hub, with support from the government and airport authorities.