AirAsia to launch Southeast Asian air pass as low cost air travel competition heats up

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Budget carrier AirAsia says it will launch a regional air pass next year to increase revenue and boost tourism in Southeast Asia, taking competition in low-cost air travel to a more intense level.

Chief Executive Tony Fernandes says the AirAsia ASEAN Pass will allow travelers to fly to 10 different destinations in one month for 499 ringgit ($148), excluding airport taxes.

He said Thursday that the new pass, which will be sold from Jan. 15, will bolster air travel within Southeast Asia and woo more foreign tourists to the region.

AirAsia, which has dominated cheap travel in the region for years, faces rising competition from a proliferation of discounts airlines in Asia, the world's biggest and fastest growing air travel market.