Budget airline AirAsia X has announced on Sunday it is stopping its Abu Dhabi service for “commercial reasons”, it has been reported.
According to the National, the long-haul arm of the low-cost carrier Air Asia has started to inform customers its last flight from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur will leave on February 21.
An “underwhelming” demand for tickets, uneconomical aircraft and the effects of the global financial crisis on the aviation industry are reasons for the move, the airline’s CEO Azran Osman-Rani said.
“We are not going to be flying, period, to Abu Dhabi until we figure out what’s the right strategy, the right hub, the right aircraft and we’ll probably come back again,” Azran told the paper.
The route was served by a four-engine Airbus A340, with 256 economy class seats and 30 premium seats, but plans include changing this to a smaller, twin-engine A330, the paper reported.
More than 30 weeks of flights until October will be cancelled, but customers will get a refund, Azan said.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company confirmed the airline’s decision.
A spokesman told the paper: “AirAsia X has confirmed to Abu Dhabi Airports Company [ADAC] that, from late February 2010, the airline will temporarily suspend its current, five-times-per-week, service to Abu Dhabi.
“ADAC looks forward to the airline recommencing its service to Abu Dhabi International Airport in the near future.”For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.