Aviation

3 years after exit, Air Asia X returns to Delhi

DELHI

Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X Berhad Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, High Commissioner of Malaysia to India; Amaran Abdul Rahman, North India Director, Tourism Malaysia
LAUNCH TIME Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X Berhad along wiht Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Indiaand  Amaran Abdul Rahman, North India Director, Tourism Malaysia at the relaunch of the AirAsia X‘s new route to Delhi

Air Asia X already flies to nearly a dozen Indian cities, but the nation’s busiest airport, at Delhi, has not been on its list for three years. Well, the low cost airline is back, and with a bang as its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur from Delhi on February 3.

AirAsia X now connects Delhi to Kuala Lumpur, with the take-off of its maiden flight. The airline now provides Indians with better connectivity, low-fares and high-value service into the capital city of Malaysia.

The inaugural flight D7183 operated by AirAsia X Berhad on an Airbus A330 departed on-time at 11.15 pm from Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Benyamin Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X Berhad said, “We are excited to be here today, to celebrate the return of AirAsia X flights to Delhi. We now have stronger foundation to be in this market, complementing the existing route network of our affiliates AirAsia Berhad, Thai AirAsia and AirAsia India, in addition to the growing demand for connectivity between Delhi and Kuala Lumpur. Moving forward, we plan to provide even greater connectivity to Australia and North Asia via Kuala Lumpur from this capital city.”

INAUGURAL OFFER
AirAsia X is offering promotional all-in-fares from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur from as low as ₹6790 one way for standard seats or from ₹29,990 one way for the Premium Flatbed seats to celebrate the commencement of this four times weekly flight.

These promotional fares are available for online booking from until 14 February 2016, for the travel period from now until 30 June 2016. All promotional fares can be booked online at airasia.com as well as via AirAsia’s mobile app on iPhone and Android devices, and AirAsia’s mobile site at mobile.airasia.com

AirAsiaX already flies to 12 destinations in India – Goa, Pune, Hyderabad, Kochi, Tiruchirapalli, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Guwahati, Imphal, Chandigarh and Jaipur. Delhi is the 13th, and Ismail hopes Mumbai is next on the list, before looking for expansion elsewhere. “An opportunity became up as Malaysia Airlines exited Delhi,” said Ismail. However, AirAsiaX will fly only four times a week as it is using larger aircraft than MAS. “We would like to fly daily but are restricted by bilateral agreements, he added. Talks between the two governments on increasing capacity are on.

“In 2015, our affiliates Malaysia AirAsia and Thai AirAsia carried over 1 million guests in and out of India, and with AirAsia X’s entry into this market, we can provide even more connectivity for our Indian guests to the rest of Asia and Australia through our extensive route network, especially through our Fly-Thru product,” added Ismail.

Guests can make use of the optional Fly-Thru service to connect to flights with their baggage checked-through to the final destination without the hassle of immigration clearance at the transit hub. With this optional service, guests can now travel to most cities in Asia and Australia such as from Sydney, Bali, Phuket or Hong Kong from New Delhi via Kuala Lumpur.

AirAsiaX and AirAsia India are also expected to sign an interline agreement soon, which will enable the two networks to sync travel between the two airlines.

Guests can also connect to other cities in Malaysia or Thailand directly from Kuala Lumpur via AirAsia Berhad (flight code AK) or Thai AirAsia’s domestic operations (flight code FD).

Speaking about the airline’s earlier trends in Delhi and Mumbai, he said the airline had rushed in, and had lacked adequate distribution in India then.

airasia-planes-nhCommenting on passenger trends, Ismail said the driver of the business are the FITs. He also said 2015 had been a good year for the airline. However he said the airline is also open to MICE movements from India.

The airline is known for its low cost offering, but it also has Premium seats, which offer flat beds, especially suitable for night flights out of Delhi. Even though the airline does not have entertainment screens, it offers iPads. “We will add more Bollywood content to our iPads, said Ismail. The airline also offers a range of Indian food, including biriyani and vegetarian food.

The celebration event was graced by His Excellency Datuk Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, High Commissioner of Malaysia to India; Amaran Abdul Rahman, North India Director, Tourism Malaysia and Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X Berhad.

Kuala Lumpur has a lot to offer as a travel destination, the colourful cultures from the racial diversity and the vast variety of cuisines available continues to be a draw for people to visit Kuala Lumpur. It is home to the world-famous Twin Towers at the city-centre filled with skyscrapers which will leave you in awe; or drive up to the renowned hill resort Genting Highlands for the cooling weather which is just an hour away from the bustling city.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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