AIRASIA X’s impending pullout from Europe (London, Paris) and India (Delhi, Mumbai) (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 13, 2012) has drawn a mixed bag of reactions from the travel trade.
Kuala Lumpur-based MP Travel & Tours, whose inbound business mix consists of forty per cent from Indonesia and 60 per cent from India, stands to lose much from the withdrawal.
“Almost all of our customers from India fly AirAsia X, because our partner agency in India has a joint promotion with the carrier for FITs, so this will have a huge effect on our business,” said the company’s assistant manager – outbound, Ice Tey Lan Lan.
“We’ve not yet had a discussion on the issue, but we expect to lose at least 20 per cent of our business in the beginning. We will have no choice but to look for alternative airlines,” she added.
On the other hand, K. M. Lam, manager – international sales, Greater China inbound, of Kuala Lumpur-based Mayflower Acme Tours, said while AirAsia x’s pullout would be a loss for the destinations concerned, the impact on travel consultants would be insignificant.
“Travel consultants will not really be affected by the route cuts, since not many of us use budget airlines in the first place due to practical reasons,” she said. “Budget travellers, FITs and other independent consumers will be the ones affected, since they are the ones flying AirAsia X.”
“As long as the routes are served by alternative airlines, it will be okay for (travel consultants). For example, India has Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Air India, while Europe has KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates and MAS,” she added.
Chennai-based Travelexpress chairman C. Nagendra Prasad said: “Tiger Airways will still provide the connections from South India to ASEAN. There are also Indigo, Jet Airways and Air India providing air links.”