AirAsia X will join South Australia’s airline market as the only low-cost long-haul carrier after
announcing a direct Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide route to begin in October this year.
Premier Jay Weatherill said the introduction 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,” Mr 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.”
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says economic modeling by the South Australian Tourism Commission suggests the new airline will create more than $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.
“Through this low cost carrier we will be targeting new markets with deals designed to drive volume sales and larger numbers of visitors to our State,” Mr Bignell said.
“AirAsia X has a strong track record of significantly increasing consumer demand for destinations when they enter a new market.
“We have a strong aviation strategy and our partnership with Adelaide Airport is paying dividends with two new international airlines secured within two years. It’s an exciting time of growth for our international tourism potential.”
AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani has been taking in South Australia’s attractions over the past few days and 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,” Mr Osman-Rani said.
"We are very excited to finally touch down in South Australia and bring some much needed competition to the skies.
"South Australia has a lot of diverse experiences to offer and has long been waited for on our network."
Adelaide Airport Ltd Managing Director Mark Young welcomed today’s announcement by AirAsia X and said it would be the first international, low-cost carrier to fly to and from Adelaide.
“The arrival of AirAsia X will make international travel more accessible for South Australian travellers, as well as attracting overseas visitors to Adelaide,” Mr Young said.
“We’ve been talking to AirAsia X since they first started looking to the Australian market in 2007, so it’s great to see those discussions coming to fruition.
“Adelaide Airport has been the fastest growing international capital city airport in Australia over the past year, and today’s announcement will provide a further boost to our expanding list of international services.”
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.