Air Asia is currently experiencing strong growth all over it's network. India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and of course Malaysia are all performing well and recording impressive load factors. Australia however, is not doing as well, but is showing sign's of improvement.
Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandez announced last week at a Paris Air Show media confrence that the long antisipated return to European skies, or the commencement of flights to the Mainland USA would not be going ahead (for now) and therefore focusing the Airline on the ASEAN region. (Air Asia is however, commencing a service to Honolulu via Osaka this month - June 2017)
During the press conference I asked him about his plans for the 10 A350-900's currently order, and if the airline was intending on going ahead with the deliveries, to which he replied "that's something that everyone around here want's to know" - Given that we were meeting in the Airbus media room, one can only assume that Airbus are the "everyone" he was referring to.
Likely ordered for the return to Europe and long haul flight's to the American West, it could be seen that the A350 order will not proceed for now, along with the plan to expand outside of the ASEAN region.
Tony did go on to mention some news that holds interest here in Australia. In finishing with my question he said, "Adelaide is more important to me than Europe right now" which could imply that we could be seeing services to the South Australian city some time in the near future although no dates are confirmed. Broome was also mentioned as a possible destination from within Malaysia or Indonesia.
Air Asia live by their words, and "Now everyone can fly" really sums up their approach to air travel, and ensuring that they are cheaply, and punctually connecting cities that have never seen direct flights before. Case and point would be the airline's opening Australian service to the Gold Coast - Previously overlooked by all international carrier's north and west of mainland Australia.
Author: James Lusher
Press Conference: Airbus Corporate Building, Le Bourget Airport in Paris