AirAsia has expanded its presence in China with the launch of one new route to Shantou, in the populous Guangdong province, and the announcement of plans for a second.
The low-cost carrier commenced four weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Shantou last week, with services running every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. And then on 27 May 2016 it will launch a new daily service between Bangkok and Shantou.
This means that AirAsia will offer almost 2,000 weekly seats to and from Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport, which serves the cities of Jieyang, Shantou and Chaozhou. Both the Thai and Malaysian flights will be operated using a 180-seat, all-economy Airbus A320 aircraft.
“As a group, we have carried over 33 million to and from China over the past 10 years, and we are certain that with the addition of these routes we can push the envelope further to continue to be the largest foreign airlines operating in China by capacity,” said Aireen Omar, AirAsia’s CEO.
AirAsia Malaysia’s Shantou flight will depart KL at 1050 and arrive in southern China at 1510. The return service will then leave at 1555 and arrive back in Malaysia at 2035. Thai AirAsia’s service will leave Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport at 0620 and arrive in Shantou at 1030. The inbound flight will then depart at 1115 and arrive back in Bangkok at 1340.
AirAsia will be the first airline providing direct flights on both these routes, although another Southeast Asian LCC, Jetstar, flies direct between Shantou and Singapore.
For AirAsia Malaysia, Shantou becomes its ninth destination in China and its third in Guangdong province after Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Thai AirAsia also flies to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and Shantou will boost its mainland China network to 13 cities.