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AirAsia X Adds Gold Coast to Auckland Route

In spite of the upward trajectory, Bursa Malaysia Securities has turned down the airline's application for exiting PN17.

An AirAsia X Airbus A330-300 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hisham Qadri)

AirAsia X, Malaysia’s low-cost carrier, has announced a new flight from the Gold Coast, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand from Feb. 3, 2024. The Southwest Pacific is one of the most important markets to the carrier and the Gold Coast was the first destination back in 2007. AirAsia X is the affiliated airline of AirAsia providing long and medium haul services.

However, the airline will suspend the flight from Auckland to Sydney from January 31. The flight was launched in November 2022. The trans-Tasman flight was expected to provide another option and competitive fares to customers. AirAsia X halted its service after only one year of operation. Benyamin Ismail, the airline’s CEO, emphasized the suspension is based on a number of factors but primarily based on consumer demand.

“We understand the inconvenience for affected guests booked on the Sydney -Auckland route next year so we are doing all we can do to minimise any disruption by contacting them as soon as possible and offering a range of provisions,” Ismail said.

According to the Gold Coast Airport, about 60% of passengers traveling between the tourism hotspot and New Zealand are from Auckland. The new route could add more than 350,000 seats every year.

“This is a welcome addition to our network and exciting news for travellers – flights between the Gold Coast and Auckland are our busiest international connection.” Adam Rowe, Chief Commercial Officer of Queensland Airports, in response to the new flight operation.

Fail to Exit PN17

AirAsia X has recently increased its services to Australian cities as well, such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. The airline owns a fleet of 17 aircraft.

Earlier, the no-frills airline marked its sixteenth anniversary and announced the third quarter’s remarkable operating statistics. The airline hit the mark, carrying over 800,000 passengers during the third quarter with an 80% load factor, 10 times higher than the same time in 2022. In addition, AirAsia X Thailand carried over 340,000 passengers in the third quarter, almost six times more than the same period last year.

The airline revealed that it will ramp up services to existing destinations and introduce new destinations in the future.

In the meantime, Bursa Malaysia Securities has turned down the airline’s request to exit PN17 status, which is given to financially distressed entities. AirAsia X has kept its head above water and classified as PN17 since the pandemic, it needs to regularize its finances within a set time frame. Malaysia is eager for tougher financial rules on the airlines, as a result of the Myairline chaos.

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