Saturday, January 16, 2016

Air Asia Returns To NZ

AirAsia X will be returning to New Zealand skies... but not into Christchurch.
It's announced a daily Kuala Lumpur-Gold Coast-Akld service will begin in late March, using an Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 377 seats.
Christchurch was the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier's only NZ destination, until the airline suspended its 4 x weekly Malaysia-Chch flights in May 2012 only a year after they started. (It was rumoured that AirAsia had been encouraged to Christchurch by the waiving of landing fees, for its first year of operations: once they were reinstated, the airline withdrew its service.)
The airline reimbursed Chch Int'l Airport $400K in marketing costs, for failing to maintain services for an agreed 2yr.period. Tourism NZ also spent about $950K promoting the airline, while Chch and Canterbury Tourism spent $117K promoting Canterbury and other South Island regions in Malaysia and Singapore.
Akld Airport and Tourism NZ would not say if similar incentives were offered for the Auckland service.
The AirAsia group has a network of more than 100 destinations throughout Asia, India and Australia, including hubs at Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Bangalore, Manila and Tokyo...
...meanwhile Christchurch Airport says passenger numbers into the city are set to increase by 16% over this summer. It expects to welcome a record 6 million+ passengers by mid-year, making up for failing to win back the Malaysian flights. That's well up on the previous year's 5.9 million passengers, and would generate more than $150 million in extra visitor spending.

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