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Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Thousand And One Nights in Saudi Arabia by Air Asia X

Air Asia X is awaiting regulatory approval to fly into Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. So a likelihood to see the land of "A Thousand And One Nights" or "Arabian Nights" will be a possibility soon.

It seems like a riskier move than going into Sydney or Japan - or any little city in China or India. The management's viewpoint is there is a huge demand during the summer months June, July and August and will be a gateway for Middle East travellers to use Air Asia X into Kuala Lumpur, and then go onward flights to the hundred over routes served.
In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi KingdomLonely Planet Saudi ArabiaLonely Planet Middle East (Multi Country Guide)
Personally, even flight into Tehran seems out of place. To put a foothold into the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), would need more homework and research. The travelling culture is very different. The first try into MENA by flying to Abu Dhabi was not fruitful, and the route was scrapped after several months.

To weigh in the options, the destination has to have a purchasing power or travelling power. Stable in both politics and finance. Potential traffic. So for MENA, it is definitely a tough decision to qualify a destination, simply because there is not many. Even the finance centre of Dubai, the local population is very small. And most of the people who work there, or based there, are fed by their big corporate account, bonuses, and literally paid to travel Business and First Class. There simply is no backpacker or budget traveller mentality nor low cost culture.

Air Asia wants to be a budget carrier and it is a budget carrier. But it should not misplace that idea and lump it into shuttling third-level workers, miners, maids or construction labourers.

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