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Get ready for ridiculously cheap flights to Asia – New York Post

Asia’s biggest low-cost carrier is exploring direct flights that would connect Southeast Asia with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Vancouver, BC.

“From America to Southeast Asia, there’s not a lot of connectivity,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tells The Post. “Rather than trying to beat a dead horse with [flying to] Europe . . . it seems logical to make America our next frontier.”

The move would mark AirAsia’s first expansion to the continental United States and North America. The carrier — known for supercheap flights between Southeast Asian destinations from Hong Kong to the island of Bali — launched flights between its hub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Honolulu via Osaka, Japan, earlier this year. Introductory fares for that route started from $99 each way before taxes.

Fernandes, speaking Thursday during a visit to New York City, said a flight to the Big Apple is also on his wish list. While he didn’t give a specific timeline, he implied that flights between Asia and West Coast were beyond the idea phase.

“New York is not the immediate future, but the West Coast is not far off,” he says.


AirAsia CEO Tony FernandesAFP/Getty Images

While he didn’t mention pricing, the $99 flights between Hawaii and Kuala Lumpur are a reliable indicator of long-haul fare goals. Searches for various medium-haul flights on AirAsia’s Web site reliably turn up options for $125 one-way, even with a connection in one of its many hubs.

More broadly, fares to the UK and Europe have dropped across the board as low-cost carriers such as Norwegian, Wow Air and Condor push their transatlantic competition to new lows.

AirAsia recently expanded beyond Southeast Asia, serving farther-afield destinations in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Australia and New Zealand.

Down the line, Fernandes says, when AirAsia plans on flying into New York, it will consider connecting its Asian hubs via the West Coast, India, the Middle East or Europe.

Get ready for ridiculously cheap flights to Asia – New York Post}

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