Thai AirAsia X Eyes Airbus A330 Flights To Australia

  • AirAsia-X-Belly-Cargo-A330-Getty

    AirAsia

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    AK/AXM

    Airline Type:
    Low-Cost Carrier

    Year Founded:
    1993

    CEO:
    Riad Asmat

    Country:
    Malaysia

  • Thai-Airways-Restructuring-lay-offs-getty

    Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    BKK/VTBS

    Country:
    Thailand

    CEO:
    Nitinai Sirismatthakarn

    Passenger Count:
    16,706,000 (2020)

    Runways:
    01R/19L – 4,000m (13,123ft) |01L/19R – 3,700m (12,139ft)

    Terminals:
    Terminal 1 | Terminal 2 | Terminal 3

Budget airline Thai AirAsia X has announced plans to launch direct flights from Bangkok to Melbourne and Sydney for the first time, further strengthening connectivity between Thailand and Australia. The new routes will begin on December 1st and 2nd, respectively, both scheduled to be operated on the airline’s all-Airbus A330 fleet.

Before the pandemic, Thai AirAsia X provided services from Bangkok to Brisbane.The new services will also be crucial in the future growth of the airline, as confirmed by the airline’s interim Chief Executive Officer, Tassapon Bijleveld:

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“Thailand and Australia have maintained strong relations for over 70 years, and Australia is among the top three educational destinations for Thai students as well as a leading travel destination for Thai tourists. Hence, Thai AirAsia X is very excited to be adding Sydney and Melbourne as two key destinations in Australia this year, with a priority on these two cities as among the most popular to return to first.”

Australia remains an important market for the whole AirAsia brand. Photo: Getty Images

From Bangkok to Australia

Before the pandemic, between June 2018 and June 2019, more than 1.5 million passengers were transported in more than 5,700 flight operations between Australia and Thailand, making it the sixth largest Asia-Pacific market for Oceania.

Melbourne

During the same period, approximately 423,190 passengers and 15,550 tons of cargo were transported between Bangkok and Melbourne, signaling a market that’s itching to be served by the low-cost carrier. From December 1st, Thai AirAsia X will fly thrice weekly to the Australian city .

Flight numbers Departure time Arrival time Frequency
XJ390 (BKK – MEL) 00:10 13:00 Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays
XJ391 (MEL-BKK) 14:30 19:20

Flown using the two-class configured Airbus A330 aircraft with a seating capacity of 377 passengers, Thai AirAsia X will offer approximately 2,262 seats to Melbourne weekly. According to Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Aviation, Jim Parashos, the new service will provide passengers more options and , from December, will increase the total number of flights between Melbourne and Asian cities to more than 420 each week.


Sydney

Before the pandemic, more than 551,300 passengers and 10,220 tons of cargo were carried between Bangkok and Sydney, making it the main route between the two countries. And right after the Melbourne launch the following day, the low-cost carrier will fly to the Harbor City four times weekly, offering approximately 3,016 seats weekly.

Flight numbers Departure time Arrival time Frequency
XJ382 (BKK – SYD) 00:10 13:10 Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
XJ383 (SYD-BKK) 14:40 19:40

The budget airline’s arrival in Sydney is supported by the New South Wales Government’s Aviation Attraction Fund and is the second new international service to be confirmed since the fund was announced in October 2021. Like Melbourne, the new route will bolster the airport’s network of more than 30 destinations in Asia, allowing passengers to take advantage of low-cost international air travel in the lead-up to the busy Christmas period.


Greg Botham, Chief Commercial Officer of Sydney Airport, said:

“Bangkok is a fantastic city with excellent connectivity to the regions of Thailand and is a top-rated destination for Australian leisure and business travelers. We’re thrilled to welcome Thai AirAsia X as our newest international carrier as we continue to support the recovery of our global network.”

Increasing competition

Given the soaring popularity and demand between Thailand and Australia, it’s only natural that Thai AirAsia X will be facing some direct competition on both new routes. Thai Airways offers daily flight services between Bangkok and Melbourne, whereas fellow low-cost carrier Jetstar Airways currently flies the route thrice weekly.

Thai AirAsia X might have more luck on the route connecting Bangkok and Sydney. This is dominated by Thai Airways offering flight services six times weekly and Qantas offering four-times-weekly flights. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the low-cost carrier’s sister long- haul airline, AirAsia X, will soon resume flight operations from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney on September 9th, followed by Perth, Melbourne, and Auckland via Sydney in November.


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