Jet Mystery Unfolds As Asian Air Travel Booms

Loss of Flight 370 may have effect on travel to Malaysia

Asian demand is a big reason why airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in aviation history, ordering more than 8,200 new planes from Airbus and Boeing in the past five years. There are now 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago. And that rate is expected to keep climbing. The bulk of the planes are going to new or quickly-growing airlines that serve the expanding middle class in China, India and Southeast Asia. In Asia alone, Airbus has 1,375 unfilled airplane orders or about a quarter of its worldwide order book. The low cost carriers are the hungriest buyers. Malaysia-based AirAsia and its affiliate AirAsia X together have orders for 385 new planes. Those new planes alone have enough seats to put an additional 60,000 passengers in the sky at the same time. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

27 Travel Tips to Help You Became a Master Traveler

Live somewhere once: Stop at least once. Get to know a place. Learn the language. Make local friends. Explore. Become the local. Living in a foreign place gives you a different perspective on life and a real sense of what it's like to be an outsider. Avoid taxis: They just cost a lot. Don't use them unless you don't have any other option. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

But Malaysian tourism officials say they have seen no significant drop in travel to the country. The Boeing 777, carrying 239 people, disappeared March 8, sparking a massive search across miles of open sea and theories that range from terrorism to alien abduction. The hotel booking site Trivago said it has seen a 22% drop in U.S. users searching for hotels in Malaysia in the 10 days after the plane disappeared, compared to the same period before the plane went missing. The site also reported an 18% drop in searches for Malaysian hotels from Australian users and a 22% drop in searches from New Zealand. But a senior Malaysian government official said the percentage of seats filled on flights to Malaysia, including Malaysia Airlines, "have not shown any drastic reduction." "Some business travelers may have opted for alternative carriers, but large tour groups have gone [to Malaysia] as usual," Malaysia tourism director general Mirza Mohammad Taiyab told reporters in India, where he was promoting tourism to his country. "Leisure and vacation tourism have also remained at the same levels." India is Malaysia's top source of tourism and Taiyab's government is on a campaign to boost travel from India even further. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit,0,1582149.story