An Airbus from the Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, at LCCT airport in Kuala Lumpur.
An Airbus from the Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, at LCCT airport in Kuala Lumpur.

AirAsia soon in France

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

It is probably the company I have taken the most often, with all my trips in Southeast Asia! In this month of October 2009, AirAsiathe Malaysian low-cost airline, has just applied for a license to operate in France.

Soon a Paris-Kuala Lumpur round trip for less than 400€, as it is the case for London since March 2009?

An Airbus from the Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, at LCCT airport in Kuala Lumpur.
An Airbus of the Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, at LCCT airport in Kuala Lumpur.

AirAsia would then operate from Orly airport. The announcement was made by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday evening in Paris, at the end of his four-day visit to France.

The DGAC (General Directorate of Civil Aviation) should quickly validate this request. It is not yet known when the line will open, nor how many flights per week will be offered...

Kuala Lumpur has this practicality that it is a huge air hub which serves many destinations in Asia-Pacific. I have also often traveled on Malaysia AirlinesAccording to their promos, for this reason. Once in KL, it is easy and cheap to reach Bangkok or Phuket, Bali, Makassar or Jakarta, Vientiane, Hanoi, Siem Reap or Phnom Penh... and even Australia, India and of course China.

Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, drowned in fog (AirAsia flight KL-Phuket).
Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, drowned in fog (AirAsia flight KL-Phuket).

AirAsia's competition is also likely to push down the prices of other airlines for Asian destinations. The Malaysian low-cost airline has a very good reputation in terms of safety (the planes are new), unlike so many others in this region of the world.

I don't have any shares with them, but their very low prices and their reservation system on the internet have allowed me to organize stages that I would never have been able to afford otherwise.

The principle: the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. There are regularly "free seats" offers to watch out for, tickets in the 20-30€ range via KL for the closest Asian destinations... When my last tripThe round trip KL-Tawau cost me 70€, the round trip KL-Kota Bahru 50€.

AirAsia from Paris? A bargain, really, for budget travelers in love with Asia.

• • • • • • • • • •

EDIT. July 2011: I finally flew on AirAsia X, departing from Paris, shortly after the opening of the route!!! Read more here :
→ Paris - Kuala Lumpur on AirAsia X

EDIT. January 2012 : Less than a year after the opening of the Paris-KL route, AirAsia decided to close its routes to Europe... Read more :
→ AirAsia abandons flights from Paris and London

  Between Two Journeys

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  1. For having traveled a few times on Air Asia, I confirm that it is a very good deal. 400 euros Paris-KL, that would be great for you. They couldn't come all the way here, could they? Because our national airline, which has a monopoly, is totally overpriced.
    Have a nice week end!

  2. I SAY YES !!!!! Little by little the Perhentian's and Sipadan are getting closer to us 😀 But why Paris 😥 ... isn't Marseille the capital ??? 😆

  3. Hello Corinne
    ❓ Well, that's good for you to talk about, because I'm wondering about Air Asia and maybe you'll get some answers:
    - for the luggage, I see that it is possible to choose the weight that you check in up to 30 kilos with a small supplement, have you tried it? is it effective?
    - can you choose your seat? it works well?
    - do you have to collect your luggage between 2 flights on the same company (example London-Kuala Lumpur-Denpasar)?
    - did you see their premium class and worth it? is it comparable to a business? Which company to compare comfort in eco?
    - did you test the food in flight?

  4. @Helene from Mauritius: Pfff, yes, I know, I looked at the fares for Mauritius, it's not cheap... An AirAsia flight that would go through Mauritius, in my opinion, it's not for now.

    @Anthony: Apparently, they had also considered Nice, as a possible airport ...

    @Manta: So, I'll only be able to answer your questions about the Asian flights I've taken (I've never tested the London-KL flight yet, so I don't know if it's exactly the same, but I think you'll find a lot of info on their website).
    1/ Luggage: yes, during my last reservations, I took 25kg of luggage. You have to indicate it online, when you buy the ticket. It will then appear on your electronic ticket, so no problem.
    2/ Choosing your place: I don't know. I think I have. I've never done it anyway. At one time, it was not the case, the seats were not even numbered, you entered the plane and you put yourself where you wanted. That's gone now, you have a seat number assigned on your boarding pass. It seems to me that when you book online you can choose your seat, for an extra fee. So check it out.
    3/ Retrieve your luggage: I would be tempted to say yes, you have to retrieve your luggage and check it in again, because that's what I had to do when I flew from Kota Bahru to KL and then KL to Tawau. But with the flight from London, I don't know. Maybe there is some information on the website...
    3/ Classes: not seeing the "premium", I can't answer your question. All the flights I took were, again, domestic flights in Asia, or between Asian countries, and I don't remember seeing any significant difference between the front or back row seats... I don't know the comfort level for the flight from London.
    4/ Food: I tested a few snacks and sandwiches for a fee on occasion, but not the meals, so I can't answer you either. It must not be extraordinary, I think.

    @Malene: Eh eh! It gives holiday desires, huh, what kind of news?

  5. Hi Corinne,

    That's a very good news you are announcing there 😀 . I do the same as you when I go to Malaysia, flight on KL then I arrange my flights on Air Asia. They have flights all over Asia, it's a very good company. I saw that they have the World's Best Low Cost Airline 2009 by Skytrax, that's not bad ❗ . I can't wait to see the price of the flights from Paris 😉

    Thanks for the info, I think this blog would deserve to be recognized as a public utility (with funding of course 🙄 )

    See you soon Corinne 🙂

  6. @Thib: Me too... 😉

    @Alain: Yes, the company is very well "rated". How about I move on to "Little Bubbles of Public Benefit?" 😆

    @ Helen: You, of course, without AirAsia you wouldn't have done the whole trip you did this summer... 🙄

  7. Well, sorry to be the only one among you who doesn't like with whom I've often traveled but stuffing yourself with 12 hours of airfare with the pitch of seats... I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy! 😯

    Besides, I have a small grudge against them since February 25, 09, when they started to assign numbers to the seats and to charge for the seat numbers... just think that if you don't pay your seat number you'll end up next to anyone but surely not next to those you're traveling with! experienced: it happened to me on 4 flights in a row 😡 , they don't even care that you are traveling with a minor, sitting all alone between two people unknown to him/her and when you ask to change your seat the steward/hostess tells you that it's not really possible even if the plane is empty... because they rush to condemn all the unoccupied seats... 😳
    As I know the annoyance of Malays to face conflict situations, I simply got up and sat on an empty row each usual, the staff pouted but no one came to tell me in front to go back to my seat.

    As for the price of the flights, add the file fees, the supplements per baggage (attention the price of the ticket supposes that you travel only with a baggage of about 5kg 🙄 ), the food in the plane and I am not sure that the tariffs are less expensive than those of Bangkok Airways for example, which in another optics, offers systematically the access to the airport lounge with drinks, breakfast etc. to its passengers.

    As far as AirAsia is concerned, I don't recognize anymore the small dynamic company of 5 years ago which deserved at that time its title of best regional low cost with a nice staff (it doesn't cost anything either), it's now a big money pump like Ryanair that I avoid taking when flying in Asia, in favor of Bangkok Airways, Tiger airways, etc.

    M'sia recognizes that their biggest competitor is and I wouldn't be surprised if they continue to have a fairly competitive fare policy to keep them from expanding into the long haul.
    If you want to pay 100€ to arrive with broken knees in KL or with a phlebitis, it's up to you, personally between one of the best companies in the world in economy class service (M'sia, Etihad, Qatar...) and "the best low cost company 2009" (allow me 😆 😆 😆 ) there is no dilemma as far as I'm concerned... and don't dream : Airasia also practices Yield management, the 400 Euros prices, it will not be for everyone 😉 try already to book a London/Kuala A/R on you will see that you have in the 600£ without the various luggage etc.

  8. @ Wet & Sea Your comment is very interesting and full of information. I think that Manta, with his questions for which I didn't necessarily have precise answers, will appreciate to have your point of view, argued and lived. Thank you for your comment!

    For my part, having almost always traveled solo since the famous seat allocation, I have never had to suffer the inconvenience of being separated from others, and for good reason...

    Otherwise, I have never done very long flights on AirAsia, so a possible discomfort of one to three hours is quite bearable. On the other hand, like you, I might be more circumspect on long-haul flights from Europe. I would have to find testimonies of travelers who have already taken the flight from London, and know what it really cost them with the extra food, luggage, placement, etc., and know the comfort conditions.

    As for the extra luggage, I seem to remember that we only paid for luggage over 15kg (but maybe that has changed?), in "packs" of 5kg or 10kg extra. I still remember a young Malaysian woman in front of me, who had 17kg, and unpacked her bag at the time of the weighing, to remove two small kilos of clothes from her hold bag, clothes that she kept with her in a plastic bag in the cabin...

    Finally, in Thailand, there are certainly a lot of companies that we can prefer. But to reach a lot of other destinations between Asian countries (especially Indonesia), AirAsia fares are still unbeatable. And then, still in Indonesia, I prefer, when I have the choice, to trust an AirAsia plane rather than another cuckoo of the local companies... 😕

    As for departures from Europe, we'll see if we can really get a ticket in the 400€ range in France. For the moment, the airlines I preferred, in terms of service and comfort, to accomplish this long trip of more than ten hours to Asia from Europe remain Malaysia and Singapore Airlines. I liked Emirates and Quatar, too, which often offer very competitive prices, as their planes are new and top notch (great individual screens), the staff very good, but their schedules are often inconvenient and the stopover in Dubai or Doha or elsewhere is sometimes quite long. 😯

    The price remains for me the first criterion, it's true. And I will only choose AirAsia from Paris if it is really worth it (not to save 20 euros). Because if you regularly watch the promos, the price variations, and with flexible dates ±1-3 days, you can really find fares worthy of the lowcosts... For example, for my trip this summer, the Paris-Kuala Lumpur round trip, on KLM, had only cost me 540€ (with decent schedules and a stopover in Amsterdam not too long) 😀
    "On this subject, read the post I had published : Take off again


  9. Wet&Sea is talking nonsense!
    I took an extra weight to go from 15 to 20 kg, between Bali and Kuala, it cost me 2,50€; I had bought my ticket VERY in advance, I paid 12€ taxes included, 3 hours of flight !!!!
    So, stop the systematic criticisms, I have been taking Air Asia for 4-5 years, all new planes, food on board not included, but ridiculously cheap (2€ for a meat-vegetable tray); the flight cost me 14€!

  10. @ DNL4U: La critique de Wet&Sea porte en fait sur le vol Air Asia depuis Londres, pas sur les vols Air Asia en Asie, que nous apprécions tous, je crois bien. Tarifs imbattables et avions neufs, comme tu le soulignes. Et même les éventuels “suppléments” sont en effet dérisoires.
    On the other hand, I'm not sure that the fare is really competitive from Europe, compared to the regular prices and promotions of a lot of other airlines, like Emirates, Malaysia, Qatar, etc.
    That said, there's nothing to get worked up about...

  11. @ Wet & Sea Gee, no more flight to Manado... You teach me that. But as you say, there is still Malaysia or Silk Air. I say that you are the voice of wisdom...

  12. About : Manado is over, Air Asia has suspended its flights since the end of February 2010, Lembeh will become difficult to access.
    The Singapore-Tawau segment also disappeared on the same date, I had to take one of the last flights, goodbye Sipadan direct from S'pore. 😥 .

    Some new features for 2010: bookings fees applied for online payment (LOL when you know that is 100% net.. 😯 ) and some extra charges to pay to have the right to travel on a seat next to his companions (not even a "Hot seat", just a normal seat), otherwise they play the seats to the roulette, which does not bring them anything but just frustrates the travelers.

    As a result, most of my regional flights are now on MH or SilkAir...with a price difference that is not huge but a service that is incomparably better. One day we will find out that is not the nice company we think it is, but since I am talking nonsense... 😆 😆 😆

    English proverb that I often bring out: "pay peanuts, get monkeys" ❗