AirAsia X discards New Zealand

AIRASIA X will suspend its four-weekly services between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch, New Zealand from May 31, as part of its ongoing network realignment.

The longhaul low-cost carrier will offer guests who hold bookings after these dates the option of a full refund, a reroute to another destination (Australia to Kuala Lumpur, or Kuala Lumpur to North Asia), or a rebooking of a return flight prior to May 31, 2012. All changes will be made at no additional cost.

AirAsia X’s suspension of Christchurch services follows its dropping of European and Indian routes earlier this year.

Back then, the carrier announced that it would continue to hold firm in its core markets of Australasia, China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, but this has now been whittled down to omit New Zealand.

AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani, said: “Our Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch route has performed strongly in terms of demand since its launch in April 2011, recording close to 80 per cent loads in 2011. However, the route has been impacted by the spiraling cost of jet fuel.”

“The decision to withdraw was a difficult one, but was made taking into account our strategic focus in consolidating our network on markets where we have built up stable, profitable routes.”

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