AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of Asia’s biggest low-cost carrier, is starting direct flights between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Shanghai Pudong on February 19.
The service will initially be six times a week, increasing to daily from May 1 onwards. The route will be operated by an A330-300 aircraft with 12 premium flatbed seats and 365 economy seats.
From Tuesday to Sunday, the flight will take off from KLIA at 1935 and arrive in Shanghai at 0045. The return leg will leave at 0145 and touch down in the Malaysian capital at 0655 every Monday, and from Wednesday through Sunday. The schedule will change when the service goes daily on May 1, with flights departing the KLIA at 1835 for a 2345 arrival every day. On the way back flights will leave at 0105 and arrive at 0615.
In June this year, AirAsia X launched a service from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and removed their Tianjin route (see here).
With the addition of the Shanghai service, as a group, Malaysia AirAsia, AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia and Philippines AirAsia now fly to 14 destinations in China. These include Hangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Nanning, Kunming, Wuhan, Chongqing and Xian, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
The airline’s expanding network is also raising KLIA’s status as a transit hub. Passengers of the new flight will be able to make use of AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service to connect between Shanghai and Australia (Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Gold Coast), Indonesia (Medan, Surabaya, Bali, Jakarta), Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi,) Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), as well as Singapore.
AirAsia X is planning to further increase frequencies on a number of routes in the Asia-Pacific region from July next year (see here), but a representative of AirAsia X explained that they had not yet finalised any other new routes to Chinese cities in 2013.
For more information, visit www.airasia.com