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Just a few years ago I flew between the US and Europe every month (or more), all in economy. Sadly, over the course of the year the best price I managed to land was a cool $800 round trip, which even seemed like a decent deal at the time. Nowadays thats more than double what we’re seeing on an almost weekly basis for US to Europe (and vice versa). If you love cheap fares and would like to expand to new horizons beyond the European or US deals we’re experiencing you could soon have your shot, thanks to route approval for an exciting new discount carrier.

Air Asia X is an extremely profitable, successful and (safe) airline operating long haul routes in Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia with limited service to the Middle East and Mauritius. Much like their counterparts Norwegian and WOW Air in Europe and the US, the airline has driven fares in Asia to record lows, offering an entirely new “cheap and cheerful” way to travel, with the keyword being cheap. The carrier presently offers long haul fares in Asia starting at just $49 one way. In what many (except US and EU airlines) consider to be great news, the airline has received route and safety approval to service any US destination, with similar privileges in Europe.

Air Asia X could offer welcome connectivity to places which currently are virtually never on sale. Through their route network, which reaches all the way to Australia and New Zealand, passengers in the US and Europe may finally see palatable fares to the South Pacific, with potentially exciting Asian stopovers along the way. On top of that, expect incredible fares on direct flights to bucket list Asian cities, much like those they presently offer. With Norwegian and WOW Air looking to constantly expand it could truly become battle of the discount carriers. If you’re not yet sold, they even offer a “business class” at very attractive prices.

The airline is most known for their extensive routes throughout Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Beijing and Osaka and Kuala Lumpur and presently operates a fleet of Airbus A330’s, with orders on deck for state of the art new Airbus A350 aircraft. If the A350 is used to launch routes such as London to Kuala Lumpur or US to Tokyo, passengers could expect reduced jet lag and fairly generous seat dimensions to top off the sundae of cheap travel. Squeezing an extra seat across the A350’s has proven difficult for many carriers, and that could mean good news on top of great news.

How do you feel about a new discount carrier entering the market?

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