Heavy competition for air routes serving Australia from Bali is claiming a new victim: Indonesia AirAsia X, the long-haul subsidiary of Indonesia AirAsia, will terminate its services from Denpasar, Bali to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.
The low cost carrier announced to drop the route as early as September 1st. Despite the strong brand recognition of AirAsia across Asia Pacific, the carrier never managed to take off in that segment due to heavy competition from Garuda Indonesia, Tigerair Australia and Jetstar.
According to an airline message posted to its booked customers, “the route suspension is part of a network restructuring aimed at improving operational efficiencies.” The carrier flew an Airbus A330 with 377 seats in Premium and Economy Class.
Guests are given the option of moving their flight to a date before September 1, rerouting on AirAsia flights via Kuala Lumpur or being given a credit shell for use on other AirAsia products. A full refund was offered as a fourth option but travellers face now difficulties to reach the provided phone number at AirAsia X call centre. Indonesia AirAsia continues however to serve Darwin and Perth out of Denpasar. Competitor Tigerair Australia has announced offering special fares to transport stranded passengers out of Sydney and Melbourne to Bali.
The termination of Australian flights for Indonesia AirAsia X happens as the Indonesian long haul subsidiary faces economic difficulties and restrictions from the government. Launched only in October 2015, the airline is still looking to find the right positioning in a depressed air transport market. Indonesia AirAsia X’s only route will be from September Jakarta-Jeddah.