AirAsia X says new California flights could begin as soon as 2021
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Malaysian low-cost giant AirAsia X continues to plan for new flights to California as it looks to build on its service to Hawaii.
The airline plans to serve California’s Bay Area — either Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC) airports — from Japan beginning in 2021, an AirAsia X official told TPG at the World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia, on Monday.
They declined to specify which Japanese airport the new routes will originate from, except that it will not necessarily be Osaka Kansai (KIX) where the airline’s current Honolulu (HNL) flights depart.
For California, AirAsia X would operate a higher-weight version of the Airbus A330-900 that is due in 2021, the representative said. The aircraft will be capable of flights of around 14 hours.
The airline has expressed interest in serving the U.S. mainland for years, though it has yet to follow through. In 2012, AirAsia X rolled out one of its Airbus A340 jets painted in the colors of the Oakland Raiders NFL football team at a press event at Oakland International Airport. AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the Oakland flights were being considered, though that never materialized.
AirAsia X began flights to Honolulu several days a week in 2017, and expanded the route to daily service last fall, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data.
In 2018, Fernandes, one of the industry’s more-colorful CEOs, affirmed plans to serve California but suggested Los Angeles — not a Bay Area airport — as the likely destination.
Now, the San Francisco Bay Area seems to be back at the top of AirAsia X’s wish list. Flights to the region would make AirAsia X the first long-haul low-cost carrier to serve the U.S. mainland from Asia. While the segment has grown in fits and starts across the Atlantic, no Asia-Pacific LCC offers a U.S. flight beyond Hawaii.
Honolulu is served by both AirAsia X and Australia’s Jetstar Airways, Diio schedules show.
AirAsia X service to the Bay Area will likely be a win for bargain-seekers by placing pressure on fares in the market. Google Flights show round-trip fares as low as $876 between San Francisco and Tokyo this fall. By comparison, the LCC charges as little as $300 for one-way tickets in economy to Honolulu.
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines (JAL) and United Airlines are the only carriers flying between the Bay Area and Japan today. ANA serves San Francisco and San Jose from Tokyo Narita (NRT); JAL serves San Francisco from Tokyo Haneda (HND); and United serves Haneda, Narita and Osaka from San Francisco, according to Diio.
Featured image courtesy of Airbus.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.