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AirAsia X launches astonishingly cheap fares from ADL

July 31, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Politicians and tourism bodies have praised the decision by low-cost carrier AirAsia X to join South Australia’s airline market as its only low-cost long-haul carrier.

The Malaysia-based airline will fly five times a week from Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide, starting from October. As well as bringing tourists into Australia, it is offering some wondrously cheap inaugural fares in the opposite direction, including an “all in fare” of just AUD 99 one-way from Adelaide to KL, bookable until 4 August 2013 and valid for travel between 30 October 2014 and 5 August 2014.

Presumably that fare includes all taxes and charges, as that is the law in Australia. From AirAsia website 30 July 2013

The opening up of the South Australian market to low-cost operations may inspire Singapore Airlines’ low-cost wide-body brand Scoot to follow suit. Jetstar may react as well.

The AirAsia X flights start on 30 October 2013 and will rise to five times weekly frequency by December. Adelaide is AirAsia’s fifth Australian destination joining Darwin, Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney.

The new AirAsia X route between Kuala Lumpur and Adelaide will deliver a “significant boost in visitor numbers from one of Australia’s largest source markets”, according to the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).

TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said it was a great outcome for South Australian tourism.

“Malaysia is Australia’s seventh largest inbound source market and, like other Asian nations, it has a growing middle class with a propensity for international travel,” Morrison said.

“This new affordable, regular service will deliver even more visitors from Malaysia, creating more than AUD 30 million of local economic activity and an additional 170 jobs.”

AirAsia X will also offer cheap fares from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur and beyond.

“Almost 270,000 Malaysians visited Australia in the 12 months to the end of May, up 11.2% on the previous year and this additional airline capacity will help grow these strong visitor numbers,” Morrison said.

“Attracting more visitors will foster job opportunities, infrastructure investment and business stimulus in the South Australian economy, where tourism already directly employs 33,000 people and supports 18,263 businesses. This new service will see South Australia welcome 12,200 international airline seats each week, exceeding its target of 11,500 international seats by 2020 and contributing to the goal of AUD 8 billion in overnight tourism expenditure by 2020.”

South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill said the arrival of AirAsia X would make Adelaide an affordable destination for people and tourists from South East Asia, China and India.

“We have been working hard to attract a low-cost international carrier and AirAsia X is a very welcome addition,” Weatherill said.

“These low-cost flights – five times a week from the end of November – will make South Australia a more affordable and appealing destination to tourists in our key Asian markets.”

“AirAsia X’s links into China will also help us capitalise on our fastest growing international market. With more affordable international links, we also hope to see more conferences in Adelaide and more international students being visited by family and friends.

“SA will now exceed its 2020 target for international airline seats into Adelaide. From November, we will welcome more than 12,200 international airline seats each week, well above the 11,500 target.”

SA Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says economic modelling by the South Australian Tourism Commission suggests the new airline will create more than AUD 30 million of local economic activity a year and create more than 170 jobs.

He said the State Government will set up a cooperative marketing agreement with the airline which will see South Australia’s wildlife, food and wine and shopping experiences promoted throughout Malaysia.

AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani, who has been taking in South Australia’s attractions over the past few days, says securing the Adelaide route had  been a priority for the airline.

“Our goal since launching our first Australian service on the Gold Coast in 2007 was to operate in the five major mainland states, and we are proud to have accomplished this within six years,” Osman-Rani said.

Morrison pointed out that AirAsia X’s move followed the recent bilateral air services agreement with Malaysia, which allows 40% more services from Malaysia into Australia’s four major airports.

“The new agreement will mean that AirAsia X, Malaysia Airlines or any other Malaysia-based carrier can sell 9500 more seats to Australia each week,” Morrison said.

“Bilateral discussions can be an extensive and complex process, but it’s important they are negotiated ahead of demand to help our tourism industry continue to grow.”

AirAsia X is part of the AirAsia group of airlines based in Kuala Lumpur and carries 16 million passengers each year to over 80 destinations. AirAsia X already flies to Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney while Air Asia flies into Darwin.

Written by : Peter Needham

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