04 October 2010
Long-haul budget airline AirAsia X has reached a deal with French airport coordination to start operating flights from the Paris Orly airport, French media reports say.
French newspaper La Tribune reports that the budget airline is expected to start flights from Paris to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia next year. AirAsia X however denies a final agreement has been reached and says talks are still ongoing.
Orly airport director Franck Goldnadel admits he contacted AirAsia X to offer landing slots at Orly. “As an average-sized airport, Orly suits budget airlines because time spent on runways is kept to a minimum,” he said.
Approval for the carrier to land in Paris was announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during a visit to Paris last year after a meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
It will be the Southeast Asia's biggest budget carrier second route in Europe after it began a London service in March last year.
An affiliate of regional low-cost carrier AirAsia and Virgin Group, AirAsia X was launched in January 2007. AirAsia and AirAsia X have common shareholders, including AirAsia founder and CEO Tony Fernandes.
The airline currently has eight aircraft and will have 11 by December. It has also placed an order for 17 Airbus A330s and 10 A340s.