AirAsia expects to carry 150,000 people between Brisbane and Bangkok over the next year after it added its second Queensland destination to its network on Wednesday.
The new route allows the long-haul arm of the low-cost carrier, AirAsia X, to further strengthen its presence in Australia and is expected to provide an $A156 million boost to the Queensland economy over the next three years as well as support 600 jobs.
AirAsia has been flying to Queensland since 2007 when it began services between Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur, and also flies to Avalon Airport near Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
“Australia remains a key market for AirAsia and with new aircraft on order we can continue to review potential future expansion opportunities where we witness the right levels of demand for great value, medium to long haul air travel,’’ AirAsia X Group chief executive Nadda Buranasiri said.
“In addition to attracting visitors to Brisbane, the new service will give locals a direct link to the bustling street markets, thriving nightlife and iconic temples of Thailand’s capital city as well as the stunning islands and beaches within easy reach of Bangkok.”
The new route comes after AirAsia last week revealed its new A330neo which will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport.
The airline is the first to operate the aircraft in Asia and said it would facilitate growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea.
It has 66 of the more fuel-efficient aircraft on order and two on lease.
Buranasiri said A330neo increased the airline’s ability to bring new destinations into play, with direct flights to Europe and the US now possible.
“We are working on many exciting network and product plans to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this aircraft’s extended range and significant cost efficiencies, which will be announced in due course,” he said.