22 July 2010
Leading low-cost airline AirAsia X has appointed its General Manager Australia Darren Wright to the position of Head of Commercial ahead of its proposed public listing.
Mr Wright, who has been with the Malaysian-based carrier since its inception in November 2007, will head up all commercial and marketing functions for AirAsia X across its long-haul network covering destinations in Australia, China, India, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
The role has been created ahead of the airline's plan to list as a separate entity of its parent company AirAsia in the second half of next year.
Mr Wright will be based in Kuala Lumpur and will report to AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani, and will in the short term split his time between the Malaysian capital and his hometown of Brisbane. He will continue to oversee commercial operations in Australia.
"It's an exciting time for AirAsia X with the proposed listing, network growth and big plans to fly to more exciting destinations like Korea and Japan, and with the move to the NewSkies booking platform, connectivity across the entire network is also a core focus for us," Mr Wright said.
"Since its maiden flight between Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast in 2007, I'm proud to have been a part of AirAsia X growing into an award-winning airline which is now reaching sufficient scale economies to stand on its own instead of relying on services provided by AirAsia.
"I'm thrilled that I will be able to continue helping this exciting airline further expand as it enters its next growth phase."
Mr Wright's previous roles include Marketing Manager at Virgin Blue Airlines, National Marketing Manager for Flight Centre and Queensland Manager of global music provider DMX Music.
AirAsia and AirAsia X have been named the 2009 and 2010 World's Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax, as well as the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Airline of the Year in 2009.
AirAsia X was the first low-cost carrier in the world to introduce flatbed seats with standard business class specifications which feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities.
The plan to list AirAsia X will give it financial independence from AirAsia and the ability to develop better capabilities in long-haul services. It will also allow the carrier to employ its own wide-body pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and commercial and marketing teams.AirAsia X's Australian routes include Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia Indonesia also operates a Perth to Bali service.