Posted on: 02 April 2012 by Mark Howells
AirAsia X finally flew its first flight to Sydney from Kuala Lumpur after flight D7222 landed at Kingsford Smith International Airport, Sydney.
AirAsia X chairwoman, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X CEO and Azran Osman-Rani joined passengers on the flight. “AirAsia X’s presence in Sydney is a game changer which will deliver more competitive fares and choice for everyone looking to travel to Sydney,” declared Osman-Rani. “We are delighted with the response to the Sydney service and have recorded strong forward sales since we opened the route for sale in January. We’ve also seen a solid show of support from international travellers from key international markets who are keen to fly to Sydney to enjoy all it has to offer.”
Sydney is AirAsia X’s fourth destination in Australia after Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth. The route is also the city’s only direct long-haul, low-fare service from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sydney Airport chief executive officer Kerrie Mather, remarked, “AirAsia X’s arrival is a further boost to Sydney’s aviation market. Asia is one of our strongest growth markets for inbound tourism, with Malaysian tourists growing by 9% last year. AirAsia X’s arrival is a win for Sydney and a win for NSW,” Mather said. “With the strong dollar seeing Australians travel overseas in record numbers, AirAsia X is also poised to capitalise on a strong outbound market. Sydney has the nation’s largest outbound leisure market, with 3.1 million people going overseas on holiday last year. AirAsia X offers a great product and even more choice for travellers.”
Airbus A330-300s configured with 12 premium flatbed seats and 365 economy seats will be used for service. The daily service departs Kuala Lumpur at 23:40 and arrives in Sydney 09:45 the following morning. In the opposite direction, flights leave Sydney at 10:55 and reach Kuala Lumpur the same day – all times local.
Photo shows (l-r) Kerrie Mather, CEO of Sydney Airport, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, chairwoman of AirAsia X and Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination New South Wales.