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AirAsia X Awarded Worlds Best New Airline 2008 - REF MALAYSIAKINI

KUALA LUMPUR, -- AirAsia X, the low-cost, long-haul affiliate of AirAsia, has made Malaysia proud after being named the winner of the "Best Newcomer" Award at the prestigious 2008 Budgie World Low Cost Airline Awards held last night at the London Queen Elizabeth II Centre.

AirAsia X, whose shareholders include the Virgin Group, was commended for its ground-breaking new business model and excellence in launching its services across Asia Pacific.

AirAsia X beat British Airways subsidiary airline, Open Skies, as well as Jin Air and K-Rabi, to the "Best Newcomer" accolade.

It also received the highest number of nominations among all entries. In total, AirAsia Group was shortlisted in four categories, including "Best Low Cost Airline", "Best Low Cost Airline: Asia Pacific" and "CEO of the Year".

Since its inaugural flight to Australia's Gold Coast in November 2007, AirAsia X has announced daily flights to Hangzhou, China, Melbourne and Perth, with plans to launch services to London as early as next year.

At the ceremony to receive the award, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO AirAsia X, said: "It is a great honour for us to receive this award and be in the same peer group with other winners such as Southwest Airlines, EasyJet and Virgin Blue.

"The recognition of our pioneering model proves that Malaysian companies can succeed in the global marketplace. Were proud to keep the Jalur Gemilang flying high," he said in a statement from London to Bernama Friday.

Azran said despite tough market conditions in 2008, AirAsia X has provided its guests with lowest fares to long-haul destinations many have never had the opportunity to travel before, alongside an enhanced travel experience, including comfortable leather seats and a newly launched "5 star" menu.

"The result has been tremendous and we have already recorded load factors of over 300,000 passengers since inception," he said.

Present was Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO and founder of AirAsia X. The Budgie World Low Cost Airline Awards recognises leaders, innovators and pioneers in the global low-cost aviation industry.

This years awards were judged by renowned industry consultants including John Hanlon, secretary-general of European Low Fare Airline Association, John Strickland, CEO of JLS Consulting, Jay Sorensen, CEO of IdeaWorks and Peter Harbison, Executive Director of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.


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