After pulling the plug out of Christchurch two years ago, long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X is back to New Zealand. The announcement was done in the middle of last week by the management of Auckland Airport. The airline will however fly via Gold Coast, offering a daily service from Kuala Lumpur. Traffic rights have been given to the airline for all segments of the flight.
The year-round service will commence in March 2016, using an A330-300 aircraft with economy and premium economy seating.
Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager – aeronautical commercial, says, “AirAsia X previously flew into Christchurch in 2012 and we are delighted to welcome them back to New Zealand.”
“Malaysia, India and Indonesia are AirAsia X’s key markets. Over the last three years the numbers of annual international arrivals from these three tourism markets have increased by 10%, 21% and 11% respectively. We expect this new AirAsia X service between Kuala Lumpur and Auckland will further grow visitor numbers, especially for free independent travellers”, he explained.
“The new service will also mean more affordable travel to Asia for Kiwis, and increased capacity to the Gold Coast. This new AirAsia X service is expected to add 275,000 seats between Kuala Lumpur and Auckland every year, boosting the New Zealand economy by an estimated $176 million,” added further Mr. Carter.
Benyamin Ismail, AirAsia X’s CEO, told that “New Zealand is a world class destination that has always had a special place in our heart. We are excited to be back in this beautiful country to launch this service, allowing seamless connection for our guests from all over Asia to Auckland. Similarly, New Zealanders will now have more flight options to Gold Coast as well as access to all the exciting destinations across our extensive network in Asia through Kuala Lumpur. We are confident that our highly competitive fares will attract many new guests from the region, creating higher travel demand and in turn boosting tourism traffic for all sectors”.