[photopress:Air_Fernades_and_Branson.jpg,full,alignright]Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has bought a 20% stake in Air Asia X. This is a new Malaysian airline offering budget long-haul flights. The airline has been given permission to fly from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to China as well as other destinations.
Air Asia X is controlled by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes. Virgin confirmed that it had bought a fifth of the shares in Fly Asian Xpress, the holding company for the airline.
Richard Branson said he expected the new airline to enjoy the ‘same success’ as its short-haul counterpart had in the past six years.
It is reported that Air Asia X will begin its first services to China next month. Other services are expected to follow. The airline has ordered 15 planes from Airbus.