Auckland Airport yesterday welcomed the inaugural arrival of AirAsia X’s new route from Kuala Lumpur via the Gold Coast. The new low-cost service – operated on an A330-300 aircraft – is the latest addition to Auckland Airport’s expanding international network that has seen annual international passenger traffic grow to 8.4 million.
Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager – aeronautical commercial, says the new AirAsia X service will support the growing tourist demand from Malaysia and attract visitors from important tourist markets such as India and Indonesia. Providing 275,000 seats a year between Kuala Lumpur and Auckland, the new route will add an estimated $176m each year to the New Zealand economy.
“Over the last three years we have seen strong growth in visitor numbers of 9% from South East Asia, and 22% from India. With this new service connecting to an extensive network across these regions, AirAsia X will not just be bringing visitors from the Gold Coast or Kuala Lumpur, but also from much farther afield.”
Mr Carter says the daily service will also support growing demand from New Zealanders for travel to South East Asia and India.
“Auckland Airport is not just the front door to our country, but a gateway to the world for New Zealanders. Through this latest addition to our network, we’re delighted to make exciting new destinations a viable option for a greater number of Kiwi travellers.”