Low Cost Carrier AirAsiaX – the latest effort from Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes – could enter the Australian market with promotional fares to Kuala Lumpur from just A$30 return later this year with regular fares around A$300.

Fernades, who started Asian LCC phenomenon AirAsia five years ago, has already put his money where his mouth is, ordering US$2 billion worth of wide-body A330-300 aircraft from Airbus to get the party started.

He has not yet revealed schedules or destinations but said: “We believe, if everything works out, that one of our launch destinations could be in Australia.” AirAsiaX will connect passengers through KL, linking with intra-regional services from AirAsia, which now operates 300 flights a day to 75 destinations.

“Our primary market is … to capture Australian’s who want to go to Southeast Asia – Bali, Kota Kinabalu and Phuket – and for Malaysians and Southeast Asians to get over to Australia.”

Other mooted long-haul destinations for AirAsiaX include China, India, Europe, Britain and the Middle East. Fernades said any city with more than 300,000 people could be viable. Watch out Newcastle!

May 1, 2007

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