Pix and text by Susitha R. Fernando
Within a short span of 8 years "Air Asia- the world's best low cost airline" has been able to bag many awards and accolades. Malaysian based airline, Air Asia has the honour of being the first airline in the world to abolish fuel charges and administrative fees from all its international and domestic flights.
Since 15 August last year Air Asia has built a bridge between Malaysia and Sri Lanka by providing the opportunity to Sri Lankans to fly with their low-cost airline daily from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport to Kuala Lumpur. Their online 3 months’ prior booking enables clients to fly with the lowest fare and to choose their preferred seats.
Air Asia operating from Malaysia serves South East Asia covering over 140 domestic and international destinations and over 130 routes with their 91 flights. It carries point to point with 9 major hubs and 2 virtual hubs which include Bangkok, Phuket, Penang, Kula Lumpur, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Bali , Singapore and Medan.
Last year (2009) the airline has grabbed two prestigious awards which included, "Airline of the year" a joint award for Air Asia and Air Asia X awarded by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) and "Best Asian Low- Cost Carrier" by TTG Travel Awards. Furthermore a survey conducted by Skytrax has added another feather on its cap being "World's Best Low Cost Airline". Also ranked among the top five "most recognized and admired" airlines in the Asia Pacific Top 100 brands.
Air Asia believes in the no-frills, hassle-free, low fare business concept and feels that keeping costs low requires high efficiency in every part of the business. They believe that efficiency creates savings which are then passed onto guests so that affordable air travel can become a reality. It is the golden secret of their low-budget air services which allows them to be true to their philosophy, "Now everyone can fly." This philosophy of Air Asia has sparked a revolution in air travel with more and more people around the region choosing Air Asia as their preferred choice of transport. At present Air Asia continuously strives to promote air travel, trying to seek avenues to create excitement amongst their guests with their range of innovative and personalized service.
Air Asia has carried over 80 million guests and has provided employment opportunities to over 7500 people. At the moment there are more than 550 daily flights.
Air Asia has not stopped only at flying but also gives their cabin crew a world class training at the Air Asia Academy established in 2001 with the motto, ‘All for one, one for all’. The residential training comprises theoretical and practical sessions.
Fly Colombo to KL, departing at 8.15 am with little more than 3.30 am; a comfortable journey. Airasia arrives at KL at 14.25 am (Malaysian time- 2.30 minutes ahead of Sri Lankan time). Daily flights leaving at Malaysian time at 6.15 am from KL, reaches Colombo by 7.15 am.
Many a Sri Lankan traveller uses this low cost flight service as a gateway to the many points served by Airasia to destinations like Bali, Phuket, Australia, London, China and many more.
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