Thai AirAsia X embarks on Chinese expansion strategy

AirAsia has launched a new service connecting two of Asia’s largest and most popular cities – Bangkok and Shanghai.

Thai AirAsia X, the group’s Bangkok-based long-haul airline, commenced the new route on 1 October 2015 and will now operate daily direct services between the Thai capital’s Don Mueang Airport and Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.

The outbound flight, XJ760, will depart Don Mueang at 0015 and arrive in Shanghai at 0540. The return service, XJ761, will then depart at 0655, arriving back in Bangkok at 1015.

Nadda Buranasiri, CEO of Thai AirAsia X, launches the new route with Thai celebrity Khemanit Jamikorn, also known as 'Pancake'
Nadda Buranasiri, CEO of Thai AirAsia X, launches the new route with Thai celebrity Khemanit Jamikorn, also known as ‘Pancake’

As with all Thai AirAsia X flights, this route will be served using a 377-seat, two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft, with flat-bed seats in the premium cabin.

The airline’s short-haul unit, ThaiAirAsia, already offers an extensive network in mainland China, serving destinations within four hours’ flight time of Bangkok.

And Nadda Buranasiri, CEO of Thai AirAsia X, said that as Thai AirAsia X enters its second year of operations, it will also now focus on penetrating the Chinese market. To achieve this, the airline has created a new promotional strapline, “Experience Exotic China in a Modern Way”.

“China is a very populous market and has great growth potential in terms of tourism, economics and investment,” Nadda said. “The AirAsia Group has maintained a strong and extensive flight network in China and the brand has become popular and well-trusted. Thai AirAsia X is proud to be entering the Chinese market in a major way and we have received great support from all relevant agencies. This is a great opportunity for growth,” he added.

An estimated seven million Chinese travellers will visit Thailand in 2015, making it by far the largest source market for the kingdom. More than 600,000 Thais are also expected to visit China in 2015.

Passengers on Thai AirAsia X’s flights can also utilise the company’s ‘Fly-Thru’ service, which facilitates connections to other destinations in the Thai AirAsia network, such as Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani (the closest mainland airport to Koh Samui).

Shanghai becomes Thai AirAsia X’s first destination in China. The airline launched last year and currently flies to Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.

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