Adelaide is the first Australian casualty in AirAsia X’s move to cut capacity and turn around recent losses, with the low-cost carrier to end services to the City of Churches in late January.
AirAsia X’s last flight will depart Adelaide on January 25, according to the Airline Route website.
The airline flagged reductions to its Australian network in November, when it reported a loss of 350 million Malaysian Ringgit (A$120m) for the nine months to September 30 2014.
AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani said at the time the long-haul budget carrier was moving into a “consolidation phase” in 2015, with no new aircraft deliveries due for its Malaysian-based operations.
“Capacity allocation in 2015 will see a drop in the number of flights to Australia, while North Asia and other regions will see an increase in number of flights,” Osman-Rani said in a statement on November 19.
The Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia X began flights to Adelaide in October 2013 using Airbus A330-300 aircraft fitted with 377 seats four times a week. In addition to Adelaide, the airline also serves Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.
AirAsia X commercial manager for Australia Stuart Myerscough told News Corp Australia the Kuala Lumpur-Adelaide route was unprofitable.
“In light of difficult trading conditions for us in Australia we’ve had to make this decision,” Mysercough said on December 5.
Adelaide was Australia’s fastest growing international airport in 2013/14 as the arrival of AirAsia X and new international flying from Jetstar lifted international passenger numbers by 23 per cent to about 908,000.
Following the withdrawal of AirAsia X, Malaysia Airlines will be the sole operator on the Kuala Lumpur-Adelaide route.
Fly into Spring with Australian Aviation’s latest print edition. Starting from $49.95 a year, you can read comprehensive coverage on all sectors of the industry to keep you in the loop. Get your hands on the subscription today. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.