KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): AirAsia is planning to exceed the pre-Covid level in terms of routes and flight numbers to China by the end of this year, with new routes being planned.
In a report on Monday (Feb 27), Chinese state-controlled Global Times (GT) said the low cost carrier is among an array of overseas carriers that are ramping up flights in China in recent days, in tandem with China’s cross-border travel recovery.
It cited AirAsia group chief commercial officer Karen Chan as telling a press conference that the firm is planning to run over 340 flights per week in China by the fourth quarter this year, compared with about 320 flights in 2019.
Chan was quoted as saying that the carrier was also hoping to open new flight routes between China and Indonesia along with China and Cambodia this year, to bring the total to more than 40, compared with 39 in 2019, subject to government approval.
So far, the firm has resumed many flights from Chinese cities to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. It expects to increase the weekly frequency to 130 flights by April.
“What you are seeing now in March is not a reflection of our capacity to fly.
“We are basically responding to the demand of the markets,” Chan told GT on Monday.
GT said a number of foreign airlines are working hard to restart flights serving the country, as China has lifted the travel ban, which has triggered a fast recovery of demand.
The newspaper reported that Singapore Airlines said it plans to gradually increase the frequencies of fixed passenger flights to China from March 1.
It will increase the number of flights between Beijing and Singapore, from the original three flights a week to one flight a day.
Flights between Shanghai and Singapore will gradually increase from the original four flights a week to two flights a day, and flights between Guangzhou and Singapore will increase from the original three flights per week to a daily flight.