KUALA LUMPUR| AirAsia X Bhd says its relaunch strategy has gained strong momentum as the airline remains focused on its medium haul markets in the short term, where proven demand is strongest.

AirAsia X to rehire furloughed pilots, retrenched cabin crew© Provided by New Straits Times

AirAsia X today announced it was increasing its Malaysia AirAsia X (D7) flights to 44 weekly across 10 routes, and was expanding its Thai AirAsia X (XJ) operations to fly 22 weekly services across five routes in the next two months.

The company said it remained committed to recalling all furloughed pilots and cabin crew.

It confirmed that all furloughed pilots and retrenched cabin crew would have the opportunity to be back in the sky by December this year.

“Since the pandemic, AAX has already reactivated 175 pilots and 285 cabin crew including rehiring 131 cabin crew who were retrenched during the pandemic,” it said.

AirAsia X acting group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said it was well and truly back with a focus on returning to its most popular and profitable medium haul destinations first in the short term.

Fernandes said the strategy ensured that the company could operate at an optimal frequency on its core routes in order to keep costs down and deliver the best fares in the market.

“However, the most important thing for me is that we can confirm today that we are bringing back our staff whom we had to let go during Covid.

“I had made a commitment and it thrills me that we can honour that in two and a half years, as we return to the skies, stronger than ever,” he said.

According to Fernandes, many pilots and cabin crew were already back in service.

He said as the airline continued to grow in line with huge pent up demand, all of AirAsia X’s pilots still on furlough would return to the flight deck, together with the retrenched cabin crew by December this year.

“In fact, we are now retraining the third batch of rehired cabin crew ahead of strong forecast demand for medium haul air travel.

“While medium haul is our first priority, we still remain focused on launching certain longer haul destinations like London, Dubai and Istanbul, which we will announce in the near future,” he added.

© Microsoft Start – ONA Industry Directory