Stansted Airport: Air Asia X, ready for departure

STANSTED’S ambitions of being a leading player in the long haul industry took a major blow this week, as the airport lost a contract to a major competitor.

AirAsia X has moved its six flights a week program for Kuala Lumpur to Gatwick, which was sold by owners BAA in 2009 for �1.5billion.

Stansted is due to be put up for sale after a ruling by the Competition Commission and interested buyers, including the Manchester Airport Group, have said that they would like to increase long-haul flying.

A spokesman for BAA at Stansted said: “Stansted Airport and AirAsia X have enjoyed a very successful relationship since the launch of the Kuala Lumpur service in March 2009 and we wish them all the best for the future.”

In the last year the AirAsia X flights carried 160,000 passengers – less than one per cent of Stansted’s total of 18.6 million.

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