AirAsia X Launches NZ Air Fares

Jim Boult, Azran Osman-Rani and Bob Parker launch Air Asia X's Christchurch service

Jim Boult, Azran Osman-Rani and Bob Parker launch Air Asia X's Christchurch service

The lowest long-haul international air fares ever seen in New Zealand go on sale this Friday with the launch of low-cost airline AirAsia X.

The Malaysia-based carrier today announced introductory $99 one-way direct flights from Christchurch to Malaysia which, when combined with its regular Kuala Lumpur to London or Paris fares, means Kiwis will be able to fly to Europe for around $1000 return. Promotional fares can be even lower.*

"Long haul air travel is now accessible to the average New Zealander," says CEO Azran Osman-Rani. "Our average fares are always the lowest in the market.

"AirAsia X's direct connection will be able to stimulate new travel demands, particularly from young working adults and families, to travel to Malaysia and thereafter use Kuala Lumpur as a gateway to over 139 routes in South East Asia that includes regional ASEAN cities or long-haul sectors serviced by AirAsia X. We anticipate that this new route will be able to tap first time travellers to and from Christchurch, which will significantly contribute to tourism growth in both New Zealand and Malaysia," concluded Osman-Rani.

AirAsia X offers flights between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur commencing 1 April 2011. Tickets go on sale at  www.airasia.com  from midday December 3rd to December 5thor until fares are sold out, for flights from April 1st - November 2011.

AirAsia X flies to 13 other destinations in Australia, UK / Europe, China, Korea, India, Iran, Japan and Taiwan, while its affiliate -  AirAsia - flies to all the ASEAN cities and destinations in South East Asia.

Wellington-based aviation consultant Gordon Bevan says this means New Zealanders will now be able to reach many destinations with fewer stops, and at prices that are typically 20-40 per cent cheaper than those offered by other airlines. "AirAsia offers a much wider, much broader network from Asia than our existing carriers. People will be able to 'try things out' because it's so much cheaper - you can go lots of places from KL for NZ$50."

For travellers wanting extra services, AirAsia X promotional premium fares - Christchurch to Malaysia - with flatbed seats will be $890 one-way.

Part-owned by Richard Branson, AirAsia X is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. Its philosophy of 'Now Everyone Can Fly' is dedicated to making travel more affordable and accessible to all. Tourism New Zealand says AirAsia X will bring many new travellers to New Zealand, boosting inbound traveller numbers by over 30,000 per year.

The airline launched services to the Gold Coast in 2007 and within the first 12 months demand grew by 46 per cent - 23 times faster than overall Queensland international market growth**. By opening up more international opportunities, feedback is that locals have adopted AirAsia X 'as their own'. From an initial four flights a week, AirAsia X has increased its capacity to daily flights.

Analysis of AirAsia X's impact since it launched in Australia three years ago indicates there will likely be a 35-53 per cent increase in New Zealanders travelling from Christchurch to Malaysia**. It's expected that the airline will be popular with New Zealanders travelling to destinations such as Bali, and to Phuket and Krabi in Thailand.

"There is plenty of room in the market for AirAsia X  to operate alongside the established providers such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Air New Zealand," says Christchurch International Airport Chief Executive Jim Boult. "The AirAsia network is so extensive it's going to introduce New Zealand to passengers that the existing airlines don't tap into. AirAsia targets mostly high-growth markets whose populations are rapidly developing an appetite for travel."

*  All flights are subject to regulatory approval.

** Statistics sourced from the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

1 April, 2011

Flights From

Departure/ Arrival

Flight No.

Frequency

Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch

08:55/00:10 (+1)

D7 2754

Friday

Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur

01:25/07:45

D7 2755

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

 3  April to 24 September, 2011

Flights From

Departure/ Arrival

Flight No.

Frequency

Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch

08:55/23:10

D7 2754

Friday, Sunday

Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur

01:25/07:45

D7 2755

Monday, Saturday

Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch

23:40/13:55 (+1)

D7 2756

Monday, Wednesday

Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur

15:10/22:30

D7 2757

Tuesday, Thursday

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