Royal welcome for budget Asia flights

HRH the Duke of York was special guest of honour at Stansted Airport yesterday as he welcomed the arrival of AirAsia X's inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur.

HRH the Duke of York was special guest of honour at Stansted Airport yesterday as he welcomed the arrival of AirAsia X's inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur.

The service, which marks the launch of the first ever low-cost flights to link South East Asia with the UK, is set to revolutionise long-haul travel, and also offers the first low-cost connection to Australia from the UK.

Nick Barton, Stansted's commercial and development director, said: “We are extremely grateful to His Royal Highness for taking the time to visit Stansted and for making this significant day even more special for everyone connected with the airport and AirAsia X.

“The arrival today of the first low-cost, long-haul flight linking Stansted to Asia and beyond is an important milestone for the airport and the development of long-haul air travel around the world.


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“Stansted has become Europe's point-to-point airport of choice for the low cost market, so it's fitting that AirAsia X selected us as the gateway to connect its extensive route network out of Kuala Lumpur into the UK.

“The cultural and business opportunities associated with this new direct service speak for themselves, and advance bookings prove how popular it is set to be, particularly with business and leisure passengers seeking affordable long-haul travel options.

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“We're delighted to officially welcome AirAsia X to Stansted today, we wish them every success for the future, and look forward to supporting them as they develop their services here at Stansted.”

AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes, added: “Since Sir Freddie Laker's Skytrain, no airline has ever managed to carry passengers this far at such low fares.

“With this global platform, we are making the world much smaller and cheaper for everyone to connect to each other. This is a revolutionary moment for the aviation industry and a great day for passengers, who can have an amazing Asian experience for the price of travelling to Europe.

“Our sales have proved this business model not only works, but is flourishing in a tough market. Long-haul legacy carriers have charged too much for too long to millions and millions of passengers, and today we have made the sky a fairer place to fly.

“We are at the very beginning of realising our ambitions in Europe. We will aim to add more frequency to create a daily shuttle to Asia and lower our fares even further.”

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