AirAsia X First Flight to Osaka, Japan


AirAsia X's First Flight to Osaka, Japan was commenced on the 30th November 2011 which took off from the LCCT in Sepang, Malaysia. As this is the second largest city in Japan, this is also the second destination after Haneda, Tokyo for AirAsiaX. The ceremony started at about 12 noon at the entrance of the international departures hall where a Japanese drum ceremony took place every half an hour. Eventually CEO Azran Osman-Rani made an appearance in a traditional red Japanese outfit complete with a Japanese styled hairdo! Even I could not recognize him.

Azran Osman-Rani in Japanese outfit and wig pose with flight attendants at LCCT

Out flight was scheduled to take off at 2pm therefore we were at the departure lounge at around 1pm to witness CEO Azran and the AirAsia X flight attendants give out souvenirs to the first passengers flying to Osaka, Japan in which many of them took advantage of the promotional priced flight tickets of RM199(US$63) one way. 



Azran Osman-Rani and flight attendants handing out souvenirs at the departure gate

Many of the passengers were unaware that they would be receiving souvenirs in the form of specially made AirAsiaX Scarves, Osaka guide booklet and a souvenir from Universal Studios Japan. As the happy passengers walked thought the boarding gate, each and every one was handed the items which put a huge smile on many of them including the children.

 Check out the massive leg room for the economy seats on AirAsiaX planes

Once everyone was comfortable seated in the Airbus A330-300 plane, announcements were made Malay, English and Japanese. Even CEO Azran made a short announcement to everyone mentioning thanks for the support as we were on route to AirAsia X's 16th international destination. As most of us were all buckled up and ready, the announcement from Captain Azhanudin was heard and the flight was about to taxi for take off. I have to say that the seats were pretty much comfortable as the leg room was beyond my expectations for a plane that could seat 377 passengers. Just take a look at the picture above.

Air Asia X Flight Attendants serving in flight meals on the Osaka Flight

After a smooth take off, we were served food and drinks by the lovely flight attendants who sported beautiful Japanese styled hairdos and make up just for this special flight. They all had Japanese Chopsticks set into the hair styles while some even had huge lovely artificial flower blended with their hairdos.

AirAsia X inflight food menu for Japan Flights

My AirAsiaX Japanese Bento Set meal 

While meals are sold on board the flights, you have a good selection ranging from Japanese, Western and Malaysian to choose from. There are also sandwiches which are all fairly priced to suit your budget. Note that if you pre-book your meals, you get them slightly cheaper. For Japan routes, special items like Japanese Asahi Beer and Sake is also sold on board.


Japanese immigration forms were handed out  shortly after the take off for you to fill and you have to read it carefully before you fill it in. Especially on the back portion of the form. Make sure you have your visa before you book your tickets to Japan too. It takes about 3 working days to get your Japan Visa done in Malaysia and it would be a single entry visa.


And how can you not have in flight entertainment on board when you fly long haul. The staff will make an announcement for this and those wanting the entertainment can simply hail one of the flight attendants. The cost for this is RM35 (US$11) if you pay for it on board while it is only RM30 if you book ahead online. 

Azran Osman-Rani with Flight Attendants welcoming the Japanese passengers in Osaka


Air Asia X Inaugural First Flight Lands in Osaka, Japan

Finally after  five and a half hours, flight D7 536 landed at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan. The captain announces that due to aiding winds, we landed 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. As we made out way out from the plane, we were warmly welcomed by Japanese officials in Kansai Airport. Next we headed to the departure section to flag off the First Osaka-Kuala Lumpur flight for the Japanese passengers. Flight D7 537 was the inaugural flight out of Kansai (KIX) to KUL and many awaiting reporters from all over Osaka were ready to interview CEO Azran.


Like a mob, the Japanese reporters, cameraman and photographers swarmed Azran for his speech and together with him was the Osaka Station Manager helping with translation. They then moved on to have the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the departure gate. What surprised me was the Japanese media were so professional and non-rowdy. So much space was given for this auspicious moment.
 
Japanese Media patiently await the ribbon cutting ceremony in Osaka Airport

Official ribbon cutting ceremony just before the Osaka-Kuala Lumpur Inaugural flight in Japan


After the official ribbon ceremony, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani welcomed the first passenger which was a middle aged Japanese man and checked his boarding pass. This followed with other priority passengers and soon everyone got on board the first flight from Osaka to KL.

Kids holding a sign pose with Air Asia X Flight Attendants in Osaka Airport

The Japanese people seem to be very happy about this and some Japanese kids even came prepared with scribblings of "I love AirAsia" and approached the local flight attendants to take a picture. To be very honest, this is the first time I did not see anyone using the 'peace' sign when getting their photo taken. A proud moment indeed for everyone there.

Japanese passengers pose with their AirAsia X Scarves in Osaka Airport

Finally as we made out way to the arrival area, we chanced upon a group of Japanese passengers who were all wearing the AirAsia X Scarf that was given away in LCCT. The even asked if we could take their picture since there were about four of us holding cameras. A bunch of happy customers, they related that the flight was smooth and comfortable and was pleased with the overall service. My honest opinion? I think the five and a half hour flight was pretty nice. I had space to move around, the seats were decently comfortable. I slept like a baby for a couple of hours while the flight attendants were very pleasing and accommodating. Check out my facebook album to see profile pictures of the Beautiful Air Asia X flight attendants.

AirAsia X flies to Osaka, Japan four times a week which is on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Flights depart at 2.00pm on Wednesday only while it is at 8.20AM for the other three days. My next task is to try and book one of those Premium Flat Bed Seats for another long haul flight during one of the sales periods where you can get them at RM599 one way. Conclusion - I had an very good experience on board  the inaugural AirAsia X First Flight to Osaka, Japan.

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