AirAsia X to kickstart flights to Africa, Nairobi their new destination

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — AirAsia X is expected to launch its latest destination to Africa soon as part of its expansion plan. The low-cost medium to long-haul carrier’s new African destination is Kenya and it is expected to offer 4 times weekly flights between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Nairobi (NBO).

According to Aeroroutes, AirAsia X will serve the route starting 15th November 2024 with the Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Two direct flights have been scheduled with D7101 from KUL to NBO, departing at 1900, and D7101 from NBO to KUL, departing at 0030. The flight takes approximately 9-10 hours, significantly shorter than other alternatives requiring a layover.

In April 2024, AirAsia X was awarded the Air Traffic Rights (ATR) from Mavcom to serve the KUL to NBO route with up to 7x weekly commencing October 2024.

At the time of writing, the flights are not yet available for booking and we expect more details closer to the official launch. Besides Nairobi, the airline has plans to serve Cape Town in South Africa and Cairo in Egypt.

In February 2024, AirAsia announced plans to create a new hub and spoke model as the world’s first low-cost network carrier. This includes additional virtual hubs spanning Asia, Europe, Africa and the US in the future.

With the arrival of newer aircraft including the A321neo, A321LR, A321XLR and A330neo, the low-cost airline aims to expand its medium to long-haul network to cover new continents. As part of its restructuring plans, it converted 36 of its A321neo orders to A321LR which offers a longer range of up to 8,300km in a single-class configuration. Meanwhile, the A321XLR can fly further up to 8,700km, enabling it to run long and thin routes with ease and increased frequencies.

Tony Fernandes said, “With our wide-body Airbus A330 fleet including the introduction of A330neo, we are also looking to expand our medium to long-haul network to the European continent, to cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Africa (Cairo, Nairobi, Cape Town), East Coast North America (New York, Miami, Toronto) via Europe and West Coast North America (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver) via Japan.”

He added, “As one of their biggest customers, we have an orderbook of 647 aircraft consisting of 612 A320 Family and 35 A330 Family aircraft with another 362 A321neo, 20 A321XLR and 15 A330neo to be delivered over the next decade as we set our sights on growing bigger than ever in the future.” — SoyaCincau