Air Asia X is offering introductory NZ$99 (US$73.70) one-way direct flights from Christchurch to Malaysia. When combined with its regular fares on its flights...

Malaysia-based low-cost airline Air Asia X will begin serving Christchurch in New Zealand from Kuala Lumpur on April 1, 2011, with four non-stop flights a week.

Air Asia X is offering introductory NZ$99 (US$73.70) one-way direct flights from Christchurch to Malaysia. When combined with its regular fares on its flights linking Kuala Lumpur with London and Paris, this means Kiwis will be able to fly to Europe for around NZ$1,000 (US$744.50) round-trip, according to the airline. Promotional fares can be even lower, Air Asia X says.

“Long haul air travel is now accessible to the average New Zealander,” says Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of Air Asia X. “Our average fares are always the lowest in the market.”

Adds Osman-Rani: “AirAsia X’s direct connection will be able to stimulate new travel demands, particularly from young working adults and families, to travel to Malaysia and thereafter use Kuala Lumpur as a gateway to over 139 routes in South East Asia that includes regional ASEAN cities or long-haul sectors serviced by AirAsia X. We anticipate that this new route will be able to tap first time travellers to and from Christchurch, which will significantly contribute to tourism growth in both New Zealand and Malaysia.”

Tickets for Air Asia X’s new Christchurch-Kuala Lumpur service go on sale at from midday New Zealand time December 3 to December 5 or until fares are sold out, for flights from April 1 to November 2011.

Long-haul, low-cost carrier AirAsia X has signed a firm contract for 10 A350 XWB aircraft and has optioned five more, to be used on a network linking its Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur with destinations worldwide. The airline also operates and has on order a total of 25 A330-300s, as well as operating two A340-300s

The low-cost, long-haul carrier flies to 13 other destinations in Australia, the UK, Europe, China, Korea, India, Iran, Japan and Taiwan, and is launching twice-weekly service from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on February 14. Its shorter-haul affiliate – AirAsia – flies to all the ASEAN cities and destinations in Southeast Asia.

Air Asia X currently operates a fleet of nine Airbus A330-300s and two A340-300s. The carrier has an additional 16 A330-300s and 10 A350 XWBs on order and has optioned five more A350 XWBs.

According to Wellington-based aviation consultant Gordon Bevan, Air Asia’s new service should allow New Zealanders to reach many destinations with fewer stops, and at prices typically 20 per cent to 40 per cent cheaper than those offered by other airlines.

“AirAsia offers a much wider, much broader network from Asia than our existing carriers. People will be able to ‘try things out’ because it’s so much cheaper – you can go lots of places from KL for NZ$50,” says Bevan.

For travellers wanting extra services, AirAsia X is also offering promotional premium fares – Christchurch to Malaysia – of NZ$890 one-way for flat-bed seats.

Part-owned by Richard Branson, AirAsia X is one of the fastest growing long-haul carriers in the world. According to Air Asia X, its philosophy of ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’ is dedicated to making travel more affordable and accessible to all. Tourism New Zealand says AirAsia X will bring many new travellers to New Zealand, boosting inbound traveller numbers by more than 30,000 visitors per year.

The airline launched services to Australia’s Gold Coast in 2007 and within the first 12 months demand grew by 46 per cent – 23 times faster than overall Queensland international market growth, according to Air Asia X. From an initial four flights a week in the Kuala Lumpur-Gold Coast market, AirAsia X has increased its capacity to daily flights.

Analysis of AirAsia X’s impact since it launched in Australia three years ago indicates there will likely be a 35 per cent to 53 per cent increase in New Zealanders travelling from Christchurch to Malaysia, according to the airline, which expcets its flights will be popular with New Zealanders travelling to destinations such as Bali, and to Phuket and Krabi in Thailand.

“There is plenty of room in the market for AirAsia X to operate alongside the established providers such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Air New Zealand,” says Jim Boult, chief executive of Christchurch International Airport. “The AirAsia network is so extensive it’s going to introduce New Zealand to passengers that the existing airlines don’t tap into. AirAsia targets mostly high-growth markets whose populations are rapidly developing an appetite for travel.”

To search for low fares, click here.

  • Gordon Hubbard

    December 2, 2010 #1 Author

    Want to go to K L enroute to London, Lax and back to NZ. Need to be in Hong Kong 10-14 to visit China as well around 14-18 April for family reunion. Never been to K L so it is a good time to add on especially if we can get $99 fares.
    Any suggestions ? Thank you. Gordon


  • Lee-Ann

    February 3, 2011 #2 Author

    hi am flying asia air from Christchurch NZ to KL and then have to get on another flight to Phuket…Can you tell me is this thru a different airport in KL and how do I get there…..Is it far
    Thanks …also whatbaggage weight am I aloud…thanks


  • Janette

    June 18, 2011 #3 Author

    How many hours does it take from Christchurch, NZ to Kuala Lumpur and how many hours from KL to Paris?


    • Jared

      June 24, 2011 #4 Author

      Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur is 11 hours 15 minutes on Air Asia X. Kuala Lumpur to Paris is somewhere between 13 and 14 hours, depending on whether you’re flying to de Gaulle or Orly. De Gaulle is shorter, Orly is longer.

    • Chris Kjelgaard

      June 24, 2011 #5 Author

      That’s interesting: Kuala Lumpur-Orly shouldn’t take any longer than Kuala Lumpur-CDG; the distances are the same. (In fact, Orly is slightly closer to the center of Paris than CDG is.) Maybe it’s an airspace thing.

    • Jared

      June 25, 2011 #6 Author

      Yes, you would think they’d be the same. I did the searches on Kayak, and just listed what the site told me.

    • Chris Kjelgaard

      June 26, 2011 #7 Author

      It might just be that the two routes are being operated by different aircraft types (some aircraft fly slightly slower on long-haul routes than others: for instance, the Airbus A340-300 has a lower cruise speed than the Boeing 747-400); or else it might just be that different airlines build in different amounts of taxiing time and “wiggle room” into their schedules.

      In the United States, each airline often builds in as much as an hour more into its schedule for a domestic flight than the flight typically takes, from gate to gate. The main reason all the airlines do that is so that the flight will then very rarely be anything else but “on time” arriving, even if it leaves late and there is more airport or airspace congestion than usually encountered. If the flight shows as an on-time arrival, the U.S. Department of Transportation won’t include it in its monthly statistics of delayed flights.

      Nowadays, by law, every airline in the U.S. has to show the average on-time or delay performance of a flight (in terms of the percentage of days on which it is delayed) when you are booking it. Obviously, if the flight shows as consistently being delayed, there is less chance you will book it and more chance you will go to another airline whose flight has a better on-time record on the route.

      It’s all playing games with statistics, and airlines have got very good at it over the years …

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