Melbourne Avalon celebrated the arrival of its first international flight on 5 December, with AirAsia X transferring its Kuala Lumpur service across from Melbourne’s main (Tullamarine) airport. Welcoming the first arrival on the tarmac, flanked by the inaugural crew, were: Andrew Goledzinowski, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia; Nadda Buranasiri, Group CEO AirAsia X; Benyamin Ismail, CEO AirAsia X Malaysia; David Fox, Executive Chairman Linfox Airports; and Justin Giddings, CEO Avalon Airport. Flights on the sector will be flown twice-daily using A330-300s.
- AirAsia X commenced double-daily services between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Melbourne Avalon (AVV) on 4 December. It will operate the 6,307-kilometre route using its A330-300s facing no direct competition. This airport pair replaces the low-cost, long-haul operator’s previous service to Melbourne’s main airport, otherwise know as Tullamarine. Indirect competition will come from Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air which offer 14 and seven weekly flights respectively between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne. The AirAsia X service becomes Melbourne Avalon’s first international connection, with the airport officially opening its new international terminal in the week leading up to the route launch. Nadda Buranasiri, CEO AirAsia X Group, said of the launch: “The arrival of AirAsia X Flight D7 218 at the state-of-the-art new low-cost carrier terminal at Melbourne Avalon signifies a new era for travellers and for the AirAsia Group in Australia. This purpose-built, no-frills facility has today become one of the most important international hubs AirAsia flies to outside of Southeast Asia.” Benyamin Ismail, CEO, AirAsia X Malaysia, added: “After more than a decade of flying operations and millions of passengers to/from Melbourne Tullamarine, our move to Melbourne’s Avalon Airport will provide Australian guests with the opportunity to travel at great value fares to more than 130 destinations in our network throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the US (Hawaii). This includes Australian favourites such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, India and Japan.”