GOLD COAST, Australia: AirAsia X Bhd is set to strengthen its position as the leading low-cost airline connecting Australia to Asia's key destinations.

Chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail said AirAsia X would be the only carrier flying direct between Malaysia and the state of Queensland.

Benyamin said this marked an important milestone for AirAsia X as it returned to the Gold Coast - its first ever route which was launched in November 2007.

"What makes this announcement a major milestone is that we are now the only airline connecting Kuala Lumpur directly to the Gold Coast and to Queensland on the whole. 

"We will be a beneficiary for bringing not just Malaysians but the region like Asean. I hope that we can benefit from that and then we can put in more flights and increase frequency," he said at a media press conference of AirAsia X celebrating its return to the Gold Coast.

AirAsia X  today launched the long-awaited resumption of services to its first-ever route to Gold Coast, Australia, after a hiatus of more than two years due to the pandemic.

The inaugural flight departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Terminal 2) at 11.25pm on Friday and landed at Gold Coast International Airport at 9.25am local time. 

In celebration of the newly-resumed services to the coastal city, all guests on the inaugural flight were treated to a special send off ceremony before boarding and a welcoming event on arrival.

The Gold Coast is the airline's fourth destination in Australia. 

According to Benjamin, the newest route provided the most affordable and convenient air travel option for guests who want to explore Australia.

He said the resumption would not only attract a significant number of visitors from Malaysia and other Asian countries but also strengthen the ties between Malaysia and Australia.

"We look forward to working closely with all of our key airport and tourism stakeholders, especially Queensland Airports and Destination Gold Coast to make the Gold Coast a preferred tourism destination of choice for the many millions of leisure seekers across Asia," he said. 

Queensland Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport Stirling Hinchliffe said AirAsia X was predicted to generate A$45.6 million for the Gold Coast's visitor economy.

Hinchliffe said these direct services from Kuala Lumpur had been secured by the Palaszczuk government's A$200 million aviation war chest in partnership with Gold Coast Airport.

"We're backing AirAsia X because of the airline's commitment to increasing its Gold Coast flight schedule to five days a week by the end of the year.

"AirAsia X is a terrific investment in the Gold Coast's visitor economy and the 450 good Queensland jobs these services will support," he said. 

Meanwhile, Queensland Airports Ltd chief executive officer Amelia Evans said the return of AirAsia X to the Gold Coast would provide three return flights between Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast each week.

Evans said this would bring 58,000 additional seats into the region each year.

"Since the first AirAsia X flight took off from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast in 2007 more than two million travellers have flown between the two cities.

"The return of this service re-establishes an important connection between two major tourism and economic hubs at a competitive price for international travel, and an important partnership with AirAsia X for the future.

"We are also excited to have been able to welcome AirAsia X back to our new International Terminal, providing visitors with an elevated experience from the moment they touch down into the Gold Coast and the region," she added.

To celebrate the return to one of its most popular destinations, AirAsia X offers great value all-in fares between Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast from RM699 all-in one-way for economy or RM2,999 one-way for a premium flatbed.

AirAsia X will be painting Gold Coast red with exciting consumer activation at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre on April 2, 2023 from 11am to 3pm.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

2023-04-01T05:15:21Z dg43tfdfdgfd