Long-haul low-cost airline AirAsia X is finally taking off again by resuming its first commercial flight following the approval of its debt restructuring plan. Their first post-pandemic passenger service is between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney which will begin from 14th February 2022. They are now accepting flight bookings on their website.
For a start, AirAsia X will only operate with a low frequency of just one return flight per week. The airline has just one D7 228 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, which leaves at 7:25pm on Mondays. The returning flight, D7 229 will depart from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur at 8:30am on Tuesdays. This is the schedule so far from 14th February to 22nd March 2022, and the airline will reveal its schedule for the autumn/winter season in mid-February.
According to AirAsia, they are prioritising full redemptions for its passengers affected by the restructuring and AirAsia X guests may reinstate their booking using their credit account. Unfortunately, there are still no updates on the RM499 AirAsia Unlimited Pass for AirAsia X which was last extended until June 2021. The domestic RM399 Cuti-Cuti Malaysia pass was extended but pass holders can only redeem just one return flight.
At the moment, AirAsia is offering one-way tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, from RM1,399 for Economy or from RM3,999 for its Premium Flatbed. Meanwhile, flights from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur start from AUD 399 (about RM1,180) for Economy and AUD 1,299 (about RM3,844) for Premium Flatbed. As you would expect from a low-cost carrier, the base fares displayed during online booking do not include other add-ons such as checked baggage and onboard meals.
The Value Pack which offers a 20kg baggage allowance, standard seat selection, and one meal will cost you RM156.60 per person per way. With the Value Pack included, a return flight on AirAsia X from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney (14 to 22 February 2022) will cost you almost RM3,000.
Take note that COVID-19 travel restrictions are still applicable and you must obtain the necessary visas and clearance from the Australian government. According to AirAsia’s Facebook post, fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents, international students, and eligible visa holders can travel to and from Australia without applying for a travel exemption.
Commenting on the resumption of flights, AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said “Following our travel downtime over the last two years, and the recent completion of our restructuring process, we are thrilled to be able to relaunch and commence our gradual return to the skies. This would not have been possible without the overwhelming support from our guests and creditors and we thank them for their patience and understanding.”
He added, “Without any domestic routes AAX has been significantly affected by the pandemic. We now see light at the end of this long tunnel and we are working hard to operate again in all of our key markets, as one of the world’s leading low cost medium haul operators. Starting with flights to and from Sydney, we will progressively continue to honour outstanding bookings and Credit Accounts for our guests and creditors in other markets as soon as possible.”
With the reopening of more international borders in 2022, Benyamin said AirAsia X is delighted to return to Australia first and the weekly flight marks a significant milestone for the resumption of commercial services and will contribute to their growth post-restructuring. The airline is looking forward to announcing additional new services soon.
Before resuming commercial airline service, AirAsia X COO Captain Suresh Kumar Bangah said the airline has been active on cargo flights throughout the pandemic and has been a lifeline for them. He added that for the first time, they are adding on passengers to supplement cargo revenue in their push to be a major combination carrier in the region.
AirAsia X operates a fleet of Airbus A330-300 and has carried over 19 million guests for both AirAsia X Malaysia and AirAsia X Thailand. Before the pandemic, AirAsia X’s network covers major cities in Australia, Japan, Korea, China, and India, as well as Honolulu in the US.
The AirAsia Group has recently rebranded itself to Capital A, following its classification as a PN17 company. According to its Group CEO Tony Fernandes, the rebrand and logo marks a new era for the Group as they are not just an airline anymore. When most of their planes were grounded during the global lockdown, AirAsia has ventured into various digital services including eHailing, food delivery, parcel delivery, and even groceries. Tony said he wants AirAsia to be the largest food delivery and eHailing company in Asia.
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