AirAsia X arrives in Sydney
Sydney Airport welcomed the first of its daily flights from low cost juggernaut AirAsia X today, with CEO Azran Osman-Rani and other board members on board as some of the inaugural passengers. AirAsia X has been trying to operate flights to Sydney from its hub at Kuala Lumpur for some time but had been denied rights by the Malaysian government to protect the flag carrier Malaysian Airlines.
Osman-Rani has suggested that the service will be expanded to double daily flights in the medium to long term. AirAsia X will operate is Airbus A330 aircraft into Sydney which have 365 economy seats in a 3-3-3 arrangement and 12 premium seats with 60″ pitch and 20″ width arranged 2-2-2.
George Souris, the NSW Minister for Tourism and Major events released a statement advising that, “The NSW Government welcomes the arrival of the first AirAsia X passengers to Sydney. The daily AirAsia X services will inject nearly $138 million into NSW every year and is another great step towards the NSW Government’s goal of doubling overnight tourism expenditure by 2020.” The Minister in conjunction with Destination NSW announced there would be a marketing partnership with the airline for the next two years to promote the new service to consumers in key Asian markets
Flights from Sydney depart around 11:00am meaning a latish 17:30 arrival in Kuala Lumpur and possibly having to find accommodation if continuing onward to another location. AirAsia operate an affiliated Tune Hotel at the low cost terminal in Malaysia where guests pay additional for ancillary benefits such as air conditioning and towels.
AirAsia X is the first of two new low cost carriers flying into Sydney airport, with Singapore Airlines affiliate, Scoot, due to begin flights in June.