AirAsia X, the Asian low-cost carrier, has been cleared to launch its first ever flights to the US.
The Malaysia-based airline has received permission from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to fly to any destination in the country. No routes have been confirmed as yet, but AirAsia X said it considering plans to fly to “several US states, including Hawaii” as part of its trans-Pacific expansion strategy.
“This is a major milestone for AirAsia X. Our expansion up until now has concentrated on Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, and we are excited about our first foray into an entirely new market as we look beyond Asia Pacific,” said the airline’s group CEO, Kamarudin Meranun. “I’m confident travellers will respond well to our award-winning service and the kind of connectivity we can offer with our Fly-Thru product.”
The ‘Fly-Thru’ service enables passengers on AirAsia X flights to connect to AirAsia’s extensive short-haul network, opening up an array of destinations across the region, mainly in Southeast Asia.
AirAsia X has never previously operated flights to North America. It did once fly to Europe, offering direct flights to Paris and London before the routes were suspended in 2012. But Kamarudin said he also plans to return to Europe in future.
“As part of our expansion plans, we are also looking to resume our very popular London route, and are working towards securing the necessary approvals,” he revealed.
AirAsia X already offers Wi-Fi onboard its aircraft and recently revealed plans to offer in-flight entertainment for the first time.