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AirAsia, largest foreign airline in China, adds Kunming

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia has added Kunming, the southwestern capital of Yunnan Province, as a new destination to strengthen its existing 23-route network in China.

The new route, which takes off from Kuala Lumpur, will commence operations on Dec 10 with weekly flights on alternate days Monday to Sunday.

“According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), AirAsia is the largest foreign airline in China at the moment, and we will continue to work hard to maintain this,” AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Aireen Omar said at a press conference yesterday.

Over the last few years, AirAsia has been reaching into second-tier cities in China, a move that has yielded promising results for the low-cost airline.

“The Chinese truly appreciate it. Diving is getting increasingly popular there and they yearn for beach holidays at East Malaysia and east coast of the peninsular,” AirAsia commercial director Jasmine Lee said.

“Our flights from China give them easy access to out hot spots.”

Likewise, a cooler climate and notable attractions such as UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites Naigu Stone Forest and Suogeyi Village in Kunming are expected to appeal to Malaysians.

Recently, AirAsia announced three other routes Bangkok-Wuhan, Bangkok-Xian and Kuala Lumpur-Nanning, which flies on alternate days Tuesday to Saturday.

Fast-selling tickets were another motivating factor for the airline company to fly into Kunming; Nanning, being a popular business destination for Malaysians, would encourage passengers to connect via Kunming for sight-seeing.

With just four weekly flights to the new destination, impact on earnings is expected to be insignificant.

“Rather, it is the overall frequency and many routes into China that matter. Our audience there makes up half of our top 20 most profitable flights,” she said.

The new route to Kunming will be operated on AirAsia’s Airbus A320 with a capacity of 180 seats.

Source: The Star亚航总执行长艾琳奥玛今日宣佈,亚洲航空將在12月增开吉隆坡到昆明的新航线。






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