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 AirAsia X decision to axe London route set to hit over 14,000 students

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PostSubject: AirAsia X decision to axe London route set to hit over 14,000 students   Fri 31 Jan 2014, 7:35 pm

LONDON: AirAsia X's
decision to axe its Kuala Lumpur-London route from March 30 is expected
to affect over 14,000 Malaysian students pursuing their studies in the
UK.
Since the route's inception in March 2009, the budget
long-haul airline had been the first choice to many of them to travel
home from the UK because of its affordable fares and good services.
Chairman
of the United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students, Ahmad
Syawal Hafriz Abdullah, said axing the routes would leave them with
fewer choices, especially the ones that won't hit their pockets.
"Many of us look forward to join our families and loved ones especially during the festive seasons," he told Bernama.
A
second-year student at the London School of Economics, said he hoped
AirAsia X would lift the suspension and resume its flights to London
soon.
Malaysian High Commissioner here, Datuk Zakaria Sulong, said Malaysian arrivals had increased following the introduction of AirAsia X to UK.
"These
include Malaysian students in the UK who found going home during break
affordable. "There is no alternative low-cost carrier from Kuala Lumpur.
The movements of the people between the two countries will be affected due to the closure," he said.
Besides
London, AirAsia X also announced Thursday it would suspend flights to
Paris on March 31 and Mumbai and New Delhi on Jan 31.
The reason
behind this suspension, according AirAsia X, was the implementation of
the emissions trading scheme and air passenger duty taxes in the UK,
which was due to increase in April.
Other reasons cited were
budgetary concerns influenced by the global economic uncertainty and
escalating jet fuel prices despite AirAsia X recording load factors of
over 80 per cent for its London and Paris flights in 2011.
AirAsia X had only shifted station from London Stansted International Airport to Gatwick Airport last October.
It had also become the joint jersey sponsor of London football club, Queens Park Rangers, shortly after founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes acquired the club last August
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AirAsia X decision to axe London route set to hit over 14,000 students
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