AirAsia ceases inflight sales of duty free cigarettes

R. Loheswar
AirAsia Group Bhd chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes says the airline is halting sales of duty-free cigarettes on board all flights. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Malaysia-based AirAsia has joined other airlines in halting sales of duty-free cigarettes on board all flights.

AirAsia Group Bhd chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes made the announcement on Twitter yesterday, but did not say when the move will take effect.

“I'm super proud to announce that @airasia will stop selling cigarettes on duty free. Coupled with all our offices being smoke free and incentivising staff to stop smoking with better insurance, we are putting our money where our mouth is,” Fernandes tweeted.

For decades, duty-free shopping was a popular way for airlines to market products and spur incremental revenue.

However, duty-free carts require capital investment for airlines besides adding weight to the plane at a time when the industry players is looking at ways to shed extraneous load during flights so they can add more seats to sell instead.

In March last year, Dutch airline KLM decided to discontinue selling duty-free tobacco and cigarettes onboard its long-haul international flights, while retaining other shopping options such as liquor, fragrances and makeup.

In 2015 American Airlines ended all inflight sales of duty-free items on board its international flights.

 

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