For those of you who are travelling with AirAsia X to Melbourne – the airline is uplifting from its current entry point of Melbourne Tullamarine to Avalon Airport with a 10 year agreement signed.
So Avalon Airport… where’s that I hear you ask? Around here.
It’s 30 miles away from Melbourne (to the south-west of the city), and 9 miles away from Geelong according to Wikipedia.
You’ll notice that it’s a fair old way from the central areas of Melbourne too. We’ll get to that in a bit.
AirAsia X will operate two daily flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Avalon. This push through an additional 500,000 passengers a year through it.
Connectivity at Avalon is limited however, with Jetstar Airways offering flights to Sydney (five flights a day), Adelaide (single flight a day), Hobart and Gold Coast.
On the ground, it’s going to be a long schlep into the centre of Melbourne, with buses that are currently timed to meet the Jetstar flights. One would hope that additional buses will be laid on to meet the additional AirAsia X passengers.
On the switch, AirAsia Group CEO and AirAsia X Co-Group CEO Tony Fernandes states:
“This is an exciting milestone for AirAsia X. Since our inaugural flight in 2007, AirAsia X has flown over 30 million guests, including 6.1 million Australians – tourists wanting to experience amazing Australia, students from across the globe and Australians who wish to see the world. We are proud to renew our commitment to making air travel affordable for Australians with this move to Avalon, which will help us maintain our cost edge and allow us to continue offering low fares to Asean, Asia and beyond.”
“Our crusade started with just two planes 16 years ago at a time when flying was only for the privileged few. We have since created jobs and careers, and turned millions of dreams into reality. I must say it hasn’t always been easy for us in Australia. The challenges thrown at us have been constant, but the joy we bring to Australians and Southeast Asians who yearn to travel has strengthened our resolve to make flying cheaper, easier and more enjoyable. We would like to thank Avalon for supporting AirAsia in helping all travellers through low fares.”
A date for the operational change hasn’t been set yet – so for now, you’ll be flying into Tullamarine until the final arrangements are all ironed out.
So why the change? With AirAsia X’s focus on costs, there must had been one hell of a deal for it to lure it away from Tullamarine over to Avalon. For Avalon Airport, if it can clear the passengers quickly through its immigration facilities – it might turn into a good option (even adding in the time to get downtown or elsewhere), it could be beneficial.
For its passengers – it’ll be interesting to see what Avalon Airport does. Certainly, whilst the fares will be low, the additional costs of travel will have to be factored in…
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