AirAsia X Goes Double Daily to Australia

Long-haul, low-cost carrier, AirAsia X is to increase its current flights from Kuala Lumpur to the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to a double daily schedule later this year as it allocates its additional capacity for the remainder of the year to the market.  This network growth is expected to position AirAsia X as Australia’s fourth largest foreign carrier by the end of 2013.

The announcement follows the finalisation of a revised bilateral agreement between the Australian and Malaysian governments and an expansion of AirAsia X’s long-haul fleet of Airbus A330-300s which will comprise 16 aircraft at the end of December 2013. 

“AirAsia X has been lobbying both governments for some time for the increased capacity, and we are delighted to be able to further expand our reach across these dynamic cities from Kuala Lumpur.  Australia is a huge part of our core focus, and Australians can expect to see us continuing to expand our operations in this vitally important market,” said Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive officer, AirAsia X.

Under the new schedule the carrier will increase its current flights to Sydney and Melbourne from 12 weekly flights and Perth from its current 9 weekly flights to 14 flights a week. The double daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne will start from October 1, 2013; and to Sydney and Perth from November 25, 2013.  AirAsia X also recently announced its entry into Adelaide, with four weekly flights to its hub in Kuala Lumpur set to begin October 31, 2013 and a return to seven flights a week on the Gold Coast.

“We are delighted to increase the current flights to double daily flights on our Australian routes.  Our flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth routes have performed extremely well and the new double daily services will help meet increasing demand,” added Osman-Rani.  “Overall, the airline has carried over 3.4 million passengers to and from its Australian routes since it began operations in Australia in 2007.  Australia contributes over 40 per cent of the airline’s total revenue, with an average of 83 per cent passenger load in the first half of 2013.”

According to MIDT data an estimated 718,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew on AirAsia X’s routes between Kuala Lumpur and Australia in 2012.  This analysis shows Perth has the strongest flows for the carrier with 216,000 passengers, followed by Melbourne with 204,000 then Gold Coast with 151,000 passengers and then Sydney with 146,000 passengers.  An analysis of this year’s flight schedule shows that AirAsia X is currently the seventh largest foreign carrier in the Australian international market with a 2.7 per cent share of the available seat capacity.  This network expansion will likely see the carrier jump ahead of Thai Airways International, Malaysia Airlines and even Cathay Pacific Airways.

INTERNATIONAL SEAT CAPACITY IN AND OUT OF AUSTRALIA (non-stop departures; 2013)

Rank

Airline

Seat Capacity

% Share

1

Qantas (QF)

7,402,752

17.9 %

2

Emirates Airline (EK)

4,216,703

10.2 %

3

Singapore Airlines (SQ)

3,518,089

8.5 %

4

Jetstar Airways (JQ)

3,254,106

7.9 %

5

Air New Zealand (NZ)

2,976,006

7.2 %

6

Virgin Australia (DJ)

2,787,784

6.7 %

7

Cathay Pacific (CX)

2,242,753

5.4 %

8

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

1,549,011

3.7 %

9

Thai Airways International (TG)

1,393,262

3.4 %

10

AirAsia X (D7)

1,049,951

2.5 %

TOTAL

41,318,166

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