Inbound tourism to south-east Queensland is to receive a further boost from November 24 when Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia X increases its schedule to daily from the current five a week.
The frequency increase will add another 60,000 seats a year between Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast.
Air Asia X’s entry to the Gold Coast market in November 2007 was supported by the Queensland government’s Aviation Investment Fund. The new services have been welcomed by the state’s Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey, who said the government continues to work in partnership with Gold Coast Tourism, Gold Coast Airport and Tourism Australia to develop marketing activities to support the additional flights.
“Gold Coast Airport welcomed 91,880 international passengers in 2012 which was a 31.2 per cent increase on 2011. Our goal is to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020, and aviation access will be key to achieving that goal,” Stuckey added.
The Gold Coast was Air Asia X’s first Australian destination. AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said passenger numbers between the Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur have been consistently strong, with an increase in average passenger loads year-on-year for the last three years.