New services to Auckland via Sydney from Kuala Lumpur.
MELBOURNE – AirAsia X (AAX) celebrated its resumption of services to Melbourne, as one of its first key destinations to return to post-pandemic.
The inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne touched down at 6.25am and departed from Melbourne at 7.40am. With strong passenger loads on both flights, the new services signal a sharp rebound in demand for low cost mid range air travel, delivering a welcome boost to both Australian and Malaysian tourism.
Pre-pandemic, AAX contributed 45% of the market share for flights between Australia and Malaysia with up to 92 flights weekly to four destinations. Following the recent return to Sydney and with the resumption of services to Melbourne and Perth this week, AAX will reconnect a total of 24 flights weekly to three key destinations in Australia. AAX also plans to recover over 50% against its pre-pandemic flight frequency to Australia by the third quarter of 2023.
The return to Melbourne, with a balanced inbound/outbound traffic flow, allows AAX to review adding more services to meet a strong forecast growth in low cost travel demand. Moreover, AAX is looking forward to leveraging its operations at Australia’s core domestic cargo hubs including in Melbourne, to provide additional revenue streams.
The celebration of the inaugural flight and the return of AAX operations at Melbourne Airport was announced at a press conference hosted by Tunku Dato’ Mahmood Fawzy, Chairman of AirAsia X; Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X; Lorie Argus, CEO of Melbourne Airport; and Brendan McClements, CEO of Visit Victoria. The event was also attended by the Consulate General of Malaysia in Melbourne, representatives of the Victorian Government and other key industry dignitaries.
Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AAX said: “Australia was our very first destination to fly to, back in November 2007 when we commenced operations. It has always been one of our core destinations with strong demand for two way travel which is historically proven.
“Our recently resumed Sydney services are already proving very popular and we are thrilled to now return to Melbourne as one of our top priority markets to return to first post-Covid alongside two more services down under commencing this week to Auckland and Perth, thanks to popular demand.
“Until March 2020, we have carried 12.7 million guests between Malaysia and Australia with almost four million guests arriving in Melbourne alone. We are also pleased to continue working with our key airport and industry partners to contribute to the millions of passengers that walk through Melbourne Airport’s doors each month.
“With today’s announcement, Asian travellers will benefit from more value and choice with convenient and affordable access to Australia. At the same time, Australians will have access to 130 destinations on the AirAsia route map, with many low-fare connecting services through to popular destinations on our short haul and long haul network group of airlines such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and more.
“Today our commitment to our guests in Asia Pacific does not end here, as we also celebrate the resumption of services from Sydney to Auckland and Kuala Lumpur to Perth also recommencing this week. We have seen tremendous forward booking trends for all of our routes to and from Australia and New Zealand and we will continue our focus to leverage this positive momentum by adding more services and frequencies in line with consumer demand in the future.”
Lorie Argus, CEO of Melbourne Airport said: “We are thrilled to welcome AirAsia X back to the Melbourne Airport family today.
“Malaysia is an important market for Victoria for business, leisure and education travel. We know that our customers are happy to have the airline back here, offering even more choices for getting to Asia and beyond and driving competition.”
AAX also celebrates the recommencement of services from Kuala Lumpur, to Auckland, New Zealand via Sydney which touches down today at 17:20 local NZ time, and will welcome the inaugural flight from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur today at klia2 which arrives at 3:35 local time.
In celebration of the new services to Melbourne and Auckland today, AAX is offering great value all-in fares on sale until 6 November 2022 for the travel period between 1 January and 28 October 2023.
AAX is also painting the three cities red in Australia with prominent advertising in all markets this month and key consumer promotions in Sydney (Martin Place, Sydney CBD, 15 November) and Melbourne (Queensbridge Square, Melbourne CBD on 7 November) with exciting activities and giveaways, Malaysian food trucks, and more.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.