AirAsia to move Melbourne flights to Avalon

AirAsia X Malaysia is set to be the first international airline to service Avalon Airport once it moves its double-daily Kuala Lumpur flights from Melbourne Tullamarine airport there later this year.

No date has been publicly announced for the move to Avalon, with the airport requiring immigration and quarantine facilities to be put in place before flights can begin. The services are operated by Airbus A330-300s.

“We are proud to be the first airline to operate international flights at Avalon Airport, connecting Melbourne and the Victorian region with Kuala Lumpur, Asia’s number one LCC hub,” AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said in a statement.

“Melbourne and Victoria are important markets to us and this new service with 560,000 seats annually will provide a significant boost to business and tourism, including to such attractions as the Great Ocean Road.”

Avalon Airport CEO Justin Giddings said AirAsis X is moving to Avalon under a 10-year agreement structured to accommodate the airline’s “significant growth”.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome AirAsia to Avalon Airport,” he said.

Freight also factors in the move, according to Avalon Airport owners Linfox.

I am particularly excited about the large volumes of freight capacity that AirAsia X has on each flight,” said David Fox, executive chairman of Linfox Airports.

“We have received great interest from exporters in the region and this now provides the perfect platform for fresh food access to Asia.”


  1. ian says

    good move if it will keep fares low. People will drive for hours to save a few dollars for medium & long haul flights. Parking must be cheaper at AVV as well.

    Wasn’t there a chinese airline seriously looking at flying to AVV as well ?

  2. Lechuga says

    This decision intrigues me. It’s great to see international airlines look into Avalon, and it’s good for the area around it. Although the airport does need some upgrades.

    But as the primary route to be moved to Avalon is a little off. 4-5 times a week to Tullamarine and 2-3 times a week to Avalon would make more sense.

    Or if it were possible (unsure how the rules work exactly) an airline like Cathay Pacific or Qatar looking to get more flights in that cant go to the main airport of Melbourne, Avalon could be a good secondary option. But like I was saying, the primary option is a little strange.

  3. Greg Soper says

    Does the airport have the room to put in all the extra security measures? Great concept though but the aussies with also factor in the car park charges. Could be a boost for local private car parks.

  4. PC says

    This could actually work once Immi and AQAIS are on site the A330 would have heaps of belly load available for freight so it makes sense on their Asian /Aus logistics/Distributions chains here and in Asia for a start .
    Reckon other LCC and perhaps a couple of Chinese LCC & legacy carriers may or could follow .The next logical step would be to the Kiwi’s Air Asia/NZ may love a better great circle route other than OOL ? As and A320/737 would free up the A330 to Qld a bit 🙂

  5. Lechuga says

    Avalon is in the right place at the moment, is it the right time for international flights? Perhaps not, but it’s in one of the the fastest growing areas in the whole country. Wyndham, Melton, Geelong all around it and all growing rapidly, plus Ballarat, for those who don’t wanna drive all into Melbourne the can take the road down towards Geelong.

    All in all, Avalon has a great future ahead of it, but unsure if it’s the time. Although if it does take off those surrounding areas will probably grow even faster.

  6. Adrian P says

    It is probably the Ryan Air theory practiced in Europe

    Fly to the airport with the lowest charges.

    Also Singapore Airline cargo 747 freighters operate every now and then into Avalon so international; freight is not new.. Most of the population in greater Melbourne is to the east and south of the CBD and the 2 main airports are to the north and east. Excellent planning.

  7. Raymond says

    I might put (insured) freight onto an AirAsia flight, but I won’t be flying them! There are too many incidents reported involving this airline; avoid them like the plague…

  8. deano says

    Air Asia being a LCC operating into a LCC hub of Jetstar makes some sense for onward journeys
    They are likely getting a good deal on fees
    If they have used up slots on the main 4, this frees up slots for the remaining 3
    The advent of Uber and alike brings the cost of getting to Melbourne within reason
    Perhaps delays getting into and out of Tully also play a part financially

    All that said
    My bet is 9-12 months before they are back at Tully

  9. Old Mate says

    Lechuga is spot on with the growth potential of south west Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat. It’s huge.

    The other thing is that if travelling by car from the south eastern suburbs through the Domain tunnel, google maps shows the extra travel time is 20 minutes.

    An extra 20 minutes on an easy 4 lane freeway maybe worth it for those wanting an less hectic airport experience. Public transport is still less than ideal to Avalon however.

  10. Rob says

    Flown AirAsia X for many years. Reliable and safe. They’ve been the number 1 budget airline worldwide for sometime.

  11. Dave says

    Avalon needs to sort out their longterm car park pricing for this to work. I am booked out of Avalon for 3 days at $72 and a couple weeks later 4 days out of Tulla at $59. Tulla also has 3rd party parking options which is cheaper again. People will go to Avalon for price but when the price of parking and no real transport options available, it will just be easier to keep going to Tulla

  12. Chris says

    For Baxter – ZQN runway is short for A330’s and secondly, all pilots have to be trained and aircraft equipped with RNP due to mountainous topography that surrounds Qeenstown and the airport.

    AirAsiaX already flies Coast to Auckland.

  13. Rian says

    I think it’s a bit slow but they are getting it right from a Business perspective. Most LCC through out ASIA or Europe use alternative airports like Avalon to keep costs down and utilising these airports (that are left out of the big boys table) sometimes gives LCC a leg up in negotiations for better costs. Hey mate, I’ll bring my get here effectively making you an international airport, you give me a great big discount. Win win! Airport rises up in international arena, airline better costs and hopefully….. being hopefully we the pax reap sustained cheap prices.
    Most LCC travellers are all about basic airline tickets, with their back packs and without all the add ons, so if the alternative airport is within the city limits they’ll travel there for the cheaper ticket. It takes an hour to get around Melbourne anyway. So if the airport is within an hour bonus

  14. Bill says

    If the Victorian government stopped using the Avalon rail link as a political football, maybe this would work out. Even then, a V/line train probably wouldn’t have the capacity to move all the people on a weekday.

  15. Craigy says

    I guess another winner out of this move will be Skybus who currently offer bus services to Avalon from Southern Cross Station.

  16. Adrian P says

    Old Mate
    From the South East suburbs to Tullamarine people still have to go through the Domain tunnel. then over the Bolte Bridge. The Prince’s freeway between Westgate Bridge and Hoppers Crossing is often chockers.
    Not Google maps but lane splitting on a GS 500.

  17. ian says

    Baxter, as mentioned an A330 can’t go into Queenstown NZ, but could probably just down the road at Invercargill, which doesn’t have any of the weather related problems that Queenstown often has, especially in winter, when Queenstown airport closes regularly, sometimes all day.

  18. Baxter says


    Wouldn’t it be interesting if a air Asia used this Avalon method to queenstown airport and used invercargill or Dunedin

  19. Chris says

    For Ian – Inercargill is not licenced for heavy aircraft. It is licenced to operate aircraft types up to A320/B737’s. Christchurch is the nearest airport in the South Island for A330’s. Air AsiaX is looking re-using Christchurch for seasonal summer services.

  20. Don says

    If you wanted to fly into Invercargill with an A330 and you told Tim down here, he’s definitely pave the way. Millions have been spent so far so that ivc and take heavies and there was a public backlash because it never happened. If Air Asia expressed and interest, we would definitely make it work.

  21. Brad says

    I’m hearing from sources close to Air Asia that the financial incentives offered to move to Avalon were very, very compelling. Presumably this is an investment by Avalon and the surrounding area by way of marketing itself as an international airport etc etc. Or it confidently can be offered because of the freight possibilities. Airlines love freight. And Air Asia will get plenty of it through Avalon.

  22. keigo Namba says

    Great news for Avalon airport expansion to tap into Asian markets. Also heard that Cebu Airline and Lion Air are also interested in low cost airport.

  23. says

    I think it will last quite awhile. There will be a lot of Asian visitors coming in to the attractions of the Of Geelong and surrounding areas like the great ocean road etc. Fees at Avalon will be a lot cheaper which in turn will be a win win for both. Avalon really has to work on its infrastructure there, and the Vic gov should be contributing a lot more money to make it more attractive.