June 20, 2017 / 12:05 PM / 5 months ago

AirAsia CEO shelves low-cost flights to Europe 'for now'

PARIS (Reuters) - Budget carrier AirAsia X is giving up on the idea of low-cost, long-haul flying to Europe for now, and will concentrate on growth in Asia instead, AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO - A man walks past the logo of AirAsia at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo

“We looked at every aircraft, every configuration, it’s coming, but for the moment they’re all killing each other so we’ll wait,” he told Reuters at the Paris Airshow.

Low-cost, long-haul has taken off recently, especially across the North Atlantic, but there are doubts whether it can work in other regions.

“We think we have so much growth right now in Asia,” Fernandes said, adding China and India were of particular interest.

“My core strategy is about connecting Asia’s secondary and tertiary cities rather than going into a fight with the Arab carriers,” he said, referring to the likes of Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways, which connect Europe to Asia via their hubs in the Middle East.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter

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