Indonesia AirAsia X has launched its five-times-weekly Sydney-Bali (Denpasar) service, with the first flight touching down in Sydney on Saturday.
“We’re pleased to welcome Indonesia AirAsia X to Sydney, providing more choice for Sydneysiders travelling to Bali, as well as greater connectivity to Indonesian and Asian destinations from the airline’s Bali hub,” Sydney Airport managing director and chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said.
The new service will make the market tougher for Virgin Australia, the Qantas group and their respective budget offshoots.
Indonesia AirAsia X’s A330-300 aircraft offer 377 seats, representing a significant expansion of capacity on the Sydney-Bali route. It doesn’t entail a significant expansion of legroom, but people may not worry too much about that if the fares continue as keen as they are now.
For those seeking legroom, AirAsia X’s business class product on the Sydney-Bali route features 12 premium flatbed seats. The airline was the world’s first low-cost carrier to introduce full flatbed seats and was awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seats by Skytrax.
Bali is Australia’s largest outbound leisure market. About 416,000 Australians travelled from Sydney to Indonesia in the 12 months to July 2015, an increase of 8% on the prior corresponding period.
“We’re thrilled that Sydney Airport is now the world’s leading low-cost long-haul airport, with five international low-cost long-haul carriers,” Mather said.
“More than 555,000 passengers travelled between Sydney and Indonesia in the past year, and this new service will significantly increase capacity to one of Sydney’s favourite travel destinations in time for the summer holidays.”
Indonesia AirAsia X chief executive Dendy Kurniawan touched down in Sydney on the inaugural flight on Saturday. He said that Australia is an important market to Indonesia AirAsia X and the airline is committed to further strengthening its presence in Australia.
“We are delighted to serve direct flights between Bali and Sydney, providing Sydneysiders the opportunity to explore Bali and beyond at affordable fares. From Bali, our guests can fly onwards to many exotic destinations within Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Yogykarta,” Kurniawan said.
“Our inaugural flight from Sydney to Bali this morning recorded an impressive load factor of over 80%. We are confident that demand on this new route will continue to be robust.”
Indonesia AirAsia X, the fourth airline flying the Sydney-Bali route, was named the World’s Best and Asia’s Best Low Cost Airline at the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
Written by Peter Needham