Another sad sad news not long after its announcement of ceasing flights to Europe after March, AirAsia X again announced on Monday that all flights to and from Christchurch, New Zealand will also be chopped after June 2012! WTH is going on with AirAsia X? A true disappointment to budget and young travelers, the decision had shattered many travelers’ dreams after they thought they were finally afford to hit the land of kiwis when the budget airline introduced the four weekly flights to Christchurch, the gateway to the South Islands of New Zealand in April just a year ago.
Similar reason for ceasing flights to London and Paris, AirAsia X blamed the soaring cost of fuel for the decision, eventhough its aircraft were 80 to 90 percent full for the route and had successfully brought 25,000 extra visitors and $60 million in revenue to the South Island of New Zealand since its introduction.
For those travelers who had booked flights to and from Christchurch departing after May 2012 can get full refund of their money or they can make a transfer to or from Australia on their own cost to connect to another AirAsia X service from there.
With that termination of service, AirAsia X has reduced its network to provide only medium haul to destinations that are less than 10 hours flight time away, such as Asian countries and Australia. For the airline, it could be a good consolidation exercise to concentrate only on those flights that are making huge money, but for budget travelers, we lost our opportunities to fly cheaply to those fantastic countries that are far away from Malaysia, such as Europe.
In a larger prospect, Europe budget travelers will also need to spend a lot more money to fly to Australia or New Zealand with connecting flights from Kuala Lumpur LCCT airport. The consequences of it? Malaysia will lose tens of thousands of visitors from Europe as well as Millions of dollars in terms of tourism income.
Perhaps the most beneficial party for all these would be MAS, the Malaysian Airline, which is soon to be the only local carrier flying to Europe, India and New Zealand. Do you know the holding company of AirAsia X is currently also a major shareholder of MAS? Who cares? We could only hope Scoot, the upcoming low cost carrier from Singapore will spare us a ray of sunshine… – Travel Feeder, your ultimate photo travel blog