Melbourne Avalon cuts ribbon on new international terminal

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 3, 2018
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Marise Payne opens the Melbourne Avalon Airport international terminal. (Avalon Airport)
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Marise Payne opens the Melbourne Avalon Airport international terminal. (Avalon Airport)

Melbourne Avalon Airport has officially become Australia’s newest international airport.

The airport’s new international terminal was opened on Sunday, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Marise Payne among the politicians and other dignitaries present for the ribbon cutting ceremonies.

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Avalon will welcome its first international service on Wednesday morning, with AirAsia X flight D7 218 from Kuala Lumpur due to touch down at about 0820.

The low-cost carrier (LCC) is switching its twice daily service to Melbourne from Tullamarine to Avalon.

In this part of the world, AirAsia X flies its Airbus A330-300s from Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. (Rob Finlayson)
In this part of the world, AirAsia X flies its Airbus A330-300s from Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. (Rob Finlayson)

Senator Payne told reporters at the terminal opening on Sunday having international flights come to Avalon represented an enormous opportunity for the region.

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“We all know how fabulous the region is. I’m an old Geelong Cats supporter from way back so it doesn’t take much to get me to come here and it is a great pleasure and a great honour to be here this morning,” Senator Payne said according to a transcript posted on the Minister’s website.

Work on the new international terminal started in May 2018 and involved 1,100 workers. The federal government contributed $20 million towards total construction cost of $48 million, with the Victorian government also the making a considerable contribution, Avalon Airport said in a statement.

The international terminal features two duty free stores, tax refund facilities, as well as a bar and cafe spread over a 6,370 square metre ground floor and 985 square metre mezzanine area.

“Our mission is to be the best small airport in the world by providing passengers the service they expect of an international airport with the best price and greater efficiency,” Avalon Airport chief executive Justin Giddings said in a statement.

“This terminal has room for expansion, and we look forward to announcing further routes, and to housing further airlines in the future.”

A look at the customs and border protection facilities from Avalon Airport’s Twitter page.

Avalon Airport, which is managed by Linfox Airports under a long-term lease from the Commonwealth, said it expected to handle about 500,000 international passengers during the first year of operation.

“The partnership with AirAsia is a significant moment for not just Avalon Airport, but the entire region,” Linfox Airports executive chairman David Fox said in a statement.

“These operations will produce a significant boost to jobs in the region, provide new tourism to regional areas, and provide an opportunity for exporters to have quicker and easier access to Asian markets.”

AirAsia X flies to Melbourne with Airbus A330-300s with 377 seats featuring 12 angled lie-flat recliners at the front of the aircraft and 365 economy seats at nine abreast in the main cabin.

Melbourne is one of four destinations in Australia alongside the Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney.

A look at Avalon Airport. (Avalon Airport/Facebook)
A look at Avalon Airport. (Avalon Airport/Facebook)

7 Comments

  • David

    says:

    hopefully many more airlines will follow Air Asia X & fly from Avalon(AVV).

    Even if drive is further to AVV than Tullamarine(MEL) the lack of congestion( on roads, queues in airport, airside) will probably mean quicker in most cases & less stressful.

  • Harrison

    says:

    I’m Guessing That Jetstar Will Switch One Bali Flight From Tullamarine To Avalon Or Start Flights To Auckland From Avalon

    • David

      says:

      HARRISON

      I’d agree, that makes perfect sense, with charges for airlines & the public, much less at AVV than MEL. Even getting from carpark to terminal is much easier at AVV than MEL.

      With economy heading south fast, many will look for cheaper options.

      Many qlders who live closer to Brisbane(BNE) airport than (Coolangatta)OOL, drive to OOL to save on airlines like Scoot, Air Asia X etc.

      Look at Qantas group, they have more nonstops OOL/Queenstown NZ(ZQN) than BNE/ZQN.

      BNE & OOL are about 90 mins drive apart as long as not driving in peak hour, which is much further than AVV & MEL apart.

  • Ross

    says:

    Hopefully it is more successful than Hobart ‘International’ Airport, what a massive flop that was!

    • David

      says:

      Hobart will get flights to nz back soon. Probably tiger a few times a week to start with. Might even connect with air nz to usa etc.

  • james espositos

    says:

    Again another subsidised industry that can not stand on its own feet.It was only a few years ago that Avalon was about to close as Jetstar was going to pull out due to lack of custom.In came the State govt with a massive taxpayer subsidy to make it viable for Jetstar and Linfox.The only winners here is Linfox surviving on sudsidies. With all the money Linfox has why cant it make it with its own capital.Why sell a public asset then, to a private company when they now rely on public money to keep going-crazy economics. Also in relation to comment from David there being no congestion to get to Avalon the Princess highway is one of the most congested roads in NOT just Victoria but Australia go peak hours in both directions or common occurrence of an accident on this road and see how much time it takes to get to Avalon.The ridiculous situation is that this airport is called Melbourne Avalon airport.If the proponents of this airport think that this region is so great why is it not called Geelong international airport.Are they embarrassed about Geelong put Geelong on the map name it for where and what this is- Geelong its not in Melbourne.

  • Harrison

    says:

    I Think AirAsia X Could Start Hobart-Kuala Lumpur Flights Cause They Are Opening Up A Pilots Training Place At Hobart Airport

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