More than 10,000 Malaysian and Chinese travellers have already booked seats on the new Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide route operated by AirAsia X with the low cost international airline touching down in Adelaide for the first time this morning.
Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, says the addition of AirAsia X means South Australia is a more affordable and appealing destination for our key Asian markets.
“Since the launch in July, we have been promoting our key tourism experiences throughout Malaysia and other parts of Asia in partnership with AirAsia X,” Mr Bignell said.
“Today we are launching the next phase of marketing activity which challenges Malaysians to explore South Australia through an online campaign.
“With low cost international flights, there will be a direct benefit to our education, arts and conference industries. The introduction of low cost flights will result in more conferences being held in Adelaide and more international students visited by family and friends.
Mr Bignell said AirAsia X has a strong track record of increasing demand for destinations when they enter a new market.
“Low cost airlines like AirAsia X drive volume sales which result in a greater number of visitors,” he said.
This week travel bible Lonely Planet named Adelaide in the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2014 which is sure to generate thousands of extra visitors to South Australia.”
AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said he was delighted to be back in South Australia and looking forward to increased passenger numbers to Adelaide.
“We see a strong student market from Asia as well as an increase in travel segments from destinations such as Japan and Korea which will boost traffic into the city,” Mr Osman-Rani said.
“In addition, with the fly-through service connections from our long-haul and short haul destinations within the AirAsia Group to Adelaide, we anticipate strong feeder traffic into the city.”
The new airline is expected to generate more than $30 million in local economic activity each year and create more than 170 jobs.
“AirAsia X’s arrival means there has been an 83 per cent increase in the number of seats coming directly into Adelaide on international carriers since Jay Weatherill became Premier just two years ago” Mr Bignell said.
“To make sure we fill those seats the State Government is working closely with many international airlines on joint marketing campaigns to sell South Australia to the rapidly growing Asian market and beyond.”
Adelaide Airport Ltd Managing Director Mark Young said the city’s first international, low-cost carrier would make international travel more accessible for South Australian travellers, as well as attracting overseas visitors to Adelaide.
“Adelaide Airport is Australia’s fastest growing international capital city airport and we expect this growth to continue with several new services starting between now and Christmas,” Mr Young said.
AirAsia X is part of the AirAsia group of airlines based in Kuala Lumpur and carries 16 million passengers each year to more than 80 destinations. They will fly an A330 300 aircraft into Adelaide four times each week from today, increasing to five times per week from late November for until the end of the peak summer season.