French travellers might soon be booking low-cost business and economy class flights to Malaysia and beyond.
According to the respected local newspaper Le Figaro, the Malaysian budget airline Air Asia X has won permission from the French authorities to launch twice weekly flights between Paris Orly and Kuala Lumpur.
Services could start as early as October 31. But a report in another local publication, La Tribune, suggests Air Asia X is likely to postpone the launch date until early next year to give it time to market the new route. La Tribune also says that Air Asia X may eventually operate up to four flights a week depending on if and when it takes delivery of additional aircraft.
Air Asia X would be in competition with national carrier Malaysia Airlines although the latter departs from Paris CDG rather than Orly. The Paris-Kuala Lumpur route is not served by Air France.
Paris Orly is the French capital’s second airport after CDG. But Orly has an advantage over CDG in that it handles a greater range of domestic services. These will enable travellers from all over France to connect with the new Kuala Lumpur service.
Travellers from Paris Orly will be able to make onward connections with the budget carrier to a wide range of destinations in Asia and Australia.
Air Asia X passengers originating in Asia and Australia will, once the route is launched, be able to include both London (the carrier’s other European destination) and Paris on their itineraries.
The carrier has yet to make an official announcement so no schedules are available and it is unclear whether or not the flights will operate non-stop. Much will depend on the plane type as the carrier’s two A340s (which can operate non-stop from Kuala Lumpur) are utilised on the London Stansted route. Air Asia X has a number of A330s but these would require an en route stop in, say, the Gulf region. Both aircraft types feature twin-class (business and economy) cabins.