AirAsia X eyes Australia-New Zealand flights

By David Flynn, February 20 2015
AirAsia X eyes Australia-New Zealand flights

AirAsia X could enter the trans-Tasman market, adding a dash of low-cost competition to the popular corridor already flown by Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Emirates, LAN and China Airlines.

Airline group CEO Tony Fernandes today confirmed on Twitter, one of his favourite mediums, that "Yes new Zealand is being looked at via Australia" (sic).

New Zealand is Australia's most popular international destination with business travellers and holiday-makers busily shuttling across the pond, while the Malaysian airline rates well for business travellers on a budget thanks to the relatively low fares of its 'Premium' cabin (below).

AirAsia X already flies to Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, along with Darwin and Perth, but currently has no flights to New Zealand.

Fernandes' tweet implies that the airline might look to extend a flight from Kuala Lumpur to an east coast city such as Sydney through to Auckland or some other traffic-worthy NZ destination, with the flight then turning around to retrace its steps – the same pattern as adopted by Emirates' three trans-Tasman Airbus A380 flights.

London calling...

Fernandes also offered a progress report of sorts on earlier plans to restart flights between Kuala Lumpur and London, over three years after it abandoned the route – along with Paris – citing high fuel prices and airport taxes combined with weak demand.

"Airasia x is closing in on European routes including London and also application process statting to hawaii" (sic) he shared.

Fernandes has previously cited Kuala Lumpur to London as  "the most wanted route for airasia x" and stated that "the reopening of KL London is definitely on the cards."

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 713

Plenty of choice for trips across the ditch, and it never hurts to have choice.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2219

Choice is good, so I'll stay Tuned. #pun

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2011

Total posts 268

Now this one is a goodie.

Great to see Air Asia thinking outside the box for once.

Thanks for the aticle, will be keeping my paws crossed and hope it all works.

Am a member of the Air Asia Big Shot program, but only have the number, account balance still zero as the moment.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 741

Nice to have lots of competition.

So why are prices still so high? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 713

Qantas offers Y for $208, J for $644 (all one way) from MEL to AKL. I'd pay more to fly J to HBA (a short hop) and more in Y to fly to Rockhampton, Cairns, Perth etc (all one way).

Across the ditch prices are good I would have thought.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

I definitely agree

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 184

Guess he must want something to do with the planes that were ADL-KUL

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 452

Any guesses for which aussie city it could be?  I honestly wouldnt be surprised if it was Adelaide or Canberra.

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

Tony picks up and drops routes like they're bars of wet soap. If, and I stress if, AAX makes transtasman flights I doubt they'll be there for too long. The incumbents and the partnerships within the incumbents will be very tough to crack

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2219

They'll be there long enough to make some sort of impact, but the AirAsia network as a whole is very 'fluid'. They have a tendency to make a big hoo-ha about launching a new route they say will be very profitable (e.g. Penang to Hong Kong, which is a damn lucrative regional route), run it for a while and then suddenly vanish.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 103

That's pretty much the reality of Low Cost carriers. The so called 'LCCs' are simply a marketing tactic. Have a look at their air fares a week or two prior to the departure date, or during peak periods, and you will see these LCCs are selling more than Full Service Carriers.

What they are good at is they can afford super low fares at the start of a route to bake a big song and dance, and in the long haul people realise it is not value for money and they go back to traditional airlines and these LCC routes shut down.

And in fact a lot of LCCs are now adopting bits and pieces that mirror what traditional airlines do. Have a look at Tigerair Singapore and Air Asia, now they are forced to adopt a frequent flyer programme, and offer more benefits for 'Flexi fare' customers. I won't be surprised if we will see 15kg free baggage allowance on all Air Asia flights in 5 years.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2012

Total posts 150

Didn't they already "experiment" with Christchurch, and dropped it pretty soon after due to low profitability. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

Yes - yields were too low for flights over 8 hours.

Hence, they pulled out.

Connection from Aus to/from NZ could work as they're probably seeking rights to transport customers between Aus and NZ as Emirates are doing at the moment instead of KUL originate customers to NZ only.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Feb 2015

Total posts 2

In case people have not noticed, trans-Tasman fares have risen substantially at peak times over the last year which is not surprising as there are only 2 groups of airlines competing (back to 2 players again!) and with higher demand due to economic growth in mainly NZ and favourable FX rates for NZ travellers.  At Christmas time all airlines were charging NZ$600-700+ ONE WAY from MEL/SYD/BNE to NZ, and those levels are still applying for flights in the next 2 weeks...  we need D7 very badly.  Auckland originating fares are also typically discounted much more heavily than fares originating from WLG or CHC.  Last December I flew WLG/AKL/SYD on JQ/EK for NZ$260 less than a QF non-stop...

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

@Andrew Smith - that's only at very peak times such as Xmas. In the ordinary course of a year, with enough lead time and if you're happy to sit in Y, you shouldn't have to pay more than $220 one way across the ditch, which is still cheaper in dollar terms than it was 25 years ago when QF and NZ had the cosy duopoly.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

To be honest I don't mind because I'll never fly airasia trans Tasman as they are a crap airline. They are good for budget flyers, though. Virgin Australia and/or/maybe Qantas all the way.


I do agree plent of choice to go trans tasman!

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on AirAsia X eyes Australia-New Zealand flights