AirAsia X drops Maldives, continues Sri Lanka flights

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Jan 11, 2014 (LBO) – Malaysia-based AirAsia X, a long haul budget carrier said it will stop flying to Maldives from next month, but will continue flights to Sri Lanka four times a week. AirAsia X said it was halting Male flights due to “challenging business conditions”.

“The decision to withdraw from Male was a difficult one, but was made taking into account our business imperative to build sustainable and profitable routes,” Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive of AirAsia X said.

“Despite our efforts, external factors such as the depreciation of Asian currencies against the US dollar and the chronic lack of hotel room supply in Maldives resulted in cancellation of thousands of bookings by travel operators.”

The airline said the suspension of flights to Male will improve efficiencies and allow capacity to be concentrated on key markets in Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Last week, Tigerair, a budget carrier controlled by state-run Singapore Airlines began flights to the Maldives.

Tigerair is making losses, while AirAsia is profitable.