Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X launched

Malaysian aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes has started a long-haul budget carrier called AirAsiaX, which will offer cheap flights to China, India and Europe. AirAsia X will commence operations in July 2007 from the low-cost terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

According to media reports flights to Britain will be sold for as little as 9.99 ringgit ($2.84).

The new airline will be operated by Malaysian carrier Fly Asian Express (FAX), which was also founded by Fernandes.

Fernandes told reporters that AirAsia X will carry half a million passengers in its first year of operation and was looking at acquiring 20 new aircraft. Boeing 777/300 ER and Airbus 330-300 planes are being considered.