After Hawaii, Europe up next for AirAsia, hints Fernandes

Zalina Mohd Som

BANGKOK: After Hawaii in the US, national low-cost carrier AirAsia could soon be flying to Europe.

"We will go to Europe. It's just a matter of timing," said AirAsia chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

The airline’s inaugural flight to the US island state is on June 28.

“Just when we're about to launch (the new European destination) with the A330, Ukraine happened, which would put an extra hour to our flight path. So, we couldn't fly with that aircraft," he said referring to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 in 2014.

"Once we get the (new) aircraft, which is very soon, we will go to Europe. It's important for us," Fernandes said at a media round table session at the 17th World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, here today.

Fernandes, however, did not name the new destination in Europe.

“It doesn't matter where we land because it doesn't have to be a big hub.

“There are many interesting off-the-beaten-track points in Europe that offer three or four reasons for one to go. It may not be London, it may be like Manchester or Dublin," he added.

Earlier, Fernandes participated in a Meet the Experts session, followed by a one-on-one interview with WTTC president David Scowsill.

About 800 of the world's most senior executives from travel and tourism's public and private sectors which include ministers from 13 nations are participating in the event.