Brisbane, but also Adelaide, Canberra or even Townsville. These are the destinations in Australia that AirAsia X is considering serving out of Kuala Lumpur. Direct flights are most likely to start for the winter season between Kuala Lumpur and Brisbane.
The Queensland capital is an important tourist and business travel destination and is now rather under-served. Brisbane used to be served by Malaysia Airlines with a daily frequency until August 2015 and was axed following MAS rationalisation costs’ exercise. AirAsia X could easily benefit from a fund created by the regional government of Queensland. The programme is called ” Queensland: Connecting with Asia package”. It has been set up a few years ago but was recently reinforced with an additional US$26 million to help the development of new air routes to Asia.
According to Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airports Corporation CEO and Managing Director, “these additional funds will help Queensland secure further capacity from key Asian markets. Each year Brisbane Airport Corporation invests approximately $8 million in supporting international air services to Queensland that in turn deliver significant economic benefit to the State. Our focus is on attracting new direct services as when the new parallel runway opens in 2020, Brisbane Airport will have the most runway capacity of any airport in Australia,” she explains.
AirAsia X could offer at least five weekly services. The carrier already flies to Queensland with a direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Queensland’s Gold Coast with further continuation to Auckland in New Zealand. But not only Brisbane might be the next Australian destination of AirAsia X. The airline mulls out options to fly to Adelaide (previously served by Malaysia Airlines) as well as to Canberra and to Townsville (Northern Queensland). The information was revealed byAirAsia X’s Head of Commercial Arik De at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit 2016.
AirAsia X is also considering launching nonstop flights from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland, following the success of its KL-Gold Coast-Auckland route and is also considering launching more services to secondary destinations in New Zealand.