Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Bhd. is close to announcing a startup that will link the Indonesian island resort of Bali with Hong Kong, Australia and Japan, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. AirAsia X, the long-distance unit of the budget airline, expects regulatory approval anytime soon for the new Indonesia-based business and plans to start services by year-end, a senior AirAsia executive was quoted as saying. It will compete in Indonesia’s second largest aviation hub with PT Garuda Indonesia, the country’s flag carrier which has been overtaken by budget airline Lion Air on many domestic routes. AirAsia group, which already has short-haul operations in Indonesia, also seeks to challenge Jetstar, the low-cost unit of Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd., the report said.
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