Posted on: 14 October 2013 by Mark Howells
AirAsia X has announced that its associate company, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) has officially received approval from the Ministry of Transport Thailand for the Air Operator Licence.
The final approval of the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) is expected by end of 2013, after which the company will be able to begin operations.
AirAsia X says this is a significant milestone as it moves to realise its first international hub outside Kuala Lumpur during the first quarter of 2014 in Bangkok.
"Thai AirAsia X will capitalise on our collaboration with Thai AirAsia, the largest short-haul low-cost carrier in Thailand,” explained Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X. “With its 10-year track record, Thai AirAsia has built a strong domestic and international short-haul network that can provide feeder traffic to Thai AirAsia X, which plans to be based in the same Don Muang Airport.
“Thai AirAsia X will also focus on flying to long-haul destinations in North Asia and Australia where AirAsia X has already built up brand awareness and operating bases, to speed up its market penetration. Passenger traffic from destinations in these markets to Bangkok is very high, largely leisure travellers, and primarily served by higher-cost full service airlines. Thai AirAsia X expects to significantly grow tourist arrivals to Thailand.”
“The establishment of our affiliate in Thailand is the beginning of AirAsia X's strategic multi-hub plan, in line with the regional expansion of the AirAsia Group,” Osman-Rani continued. “The combination of multiple hubs and having both short-haul and long-haul networks is a strategic advantage over other competitors. The Thai hub also gives AirAsia X an additional growth platform beyond its current base in Kuala Lumpur. The hub in Bangkok can also increase connectivity options for travellers wanting to experience both Thailand and Malaysia, to arrive at one hub, and depart from the other.”