“Azran told Traveller last year that AirAsia X wanted to link Australia and Europe with regularly available fares of about $1000 return. However, he said last week that figure will not include “taxes and charges”, which typically can add up to 70 per cent to the base fare.
While it’s certain there will be ultra-low promotional fares for the new service and no details have yet been given on regularly available fare levels, it’s likely that total charges between Australia and the UK could amount to as much as $1700 return – only about $300 less than the best fares on the traditional airlines.
Using AirAsia X’s booking system to quote fares between the Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur, a $222 one-way fare for travel in May escalates to more than $750 return when it includes taxes and charges, as well as “options”, such as $20 a piece one-way for checked baggage, $7 for a meal and $7 for online seat allocation.
This makes it difficult to compare AirAsia X fares with those of Jetstar, which also flies to KL, and charges different rates for meals and other add-ons.
Jetstar, meanwhile, is unlikely to begin linking Australia and Europe before late next year, following delays in the delivery of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Jetstar’s primary focus will be on restoring European services – to Paris, Rome and Athens – that Qantas was forced to abandon because of continuing losses. It will decide in the next few months which of its south-east-Asian hubs – Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Ho Chi Minh City – will provide stopovers for the European flights.”
The phrase ‘regularly scheduled’ suggests there may be some cheaper occaisional promotions but $1000 airfares to Europe, unfortunately, were pie-in-the-sky.