SEPANG, 2 Feb 2009: AirAsia Bhd will introduce six new destinations to the China region by year-end, chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said today.
He said the new destinations would be Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing and Xian in China and Taipei and Kaoshiung in Taiwan. Currently, AirAsia flies to Guangzhou, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen in China and Hong Kong and Macao.
Tony said flights to Tianjin and Taipei were expected to be available by the first half while Chengdu and Chongqing in the second half and Xian by end of the year.
“From our review we found out that China was phenomenally strong for us in 2008 and so far since we started flights to China, AirAsia have carried two million passengers from and into China.
“This shows that Malaysia has become a very important destination for Chinese people,” he said at a press conference here.
He said the review also revealed that the low-cost carrier carried one million passengers in 2008 alone, hence it was aiming to increase the total number of passengers on the Malaysia-China routes to 1.5 million.
“The numbers shows my faith that we could be a strong hub here to China as we now have more flights per week as compared to Changi Airport in Singapore,” he said.
The review was a “silver lining for the airline despite the current economic situation and negative news it has been linked to recently,” he added. — Bernama