Low-cost carrier (LCC) Thai AirAsia X has started nonstop flights to Brisbane, with the inaugural service touching down on Wednesday.
The first flight, operated by Airbus A330-300 HS-XTF, landed at Brisbane Airport at about 1145 local time, following its nine-hour journey from Bangkok Don Muang Airport as XJ310.
The flight was greeted with an Airservices Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) monitor cross as it made its way to the international terminal.
After an hour and 40 minutes on the ground, the A330-300 took off as the reciprocal XJ311 bound for Bangkok Don Muang.
Thai AirAsia X plans to serve Brisbane four times a week from its Bangkok Don Muang hub, with the service to depart Bangkok on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The return flight will take off from Brisbane on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
All flights will be operated by A330-300s that are able to carry 377 passengers, comprising 12 premium seats in a 2-2-2 layout and 365 economy seats at nine abreast.
Thai AirAsia X will the first of the AirAsia X group of carriers to fly to Brisbane, with Malaysia AirAsia X having served Gold Coast Airport from Kuala Lumpur since 2007. It currently offers international flights from Bangkok Don Mueang to China, Japan and South Korea.
Indonesia AirAsia X did operate from Bali to Melbourne and Sydney in 2015. However, the services lasted about 18 months before they were cancelled.
AirAsia X Group chief executive Nadda Buranasiri said Australia was a key market for the long-haul LCC group.
“We look forward to working with Brisbane Airport, the Queensland government and the local tourism industry to make these new services a success,” Buranasiri said in a statement.
Thai AirAsia X will soon receive its first A330-900neo, the re-engined A330 widebody that features Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and a larger wing with improved winglets.
The A330-900neo is one of 66 the AirAsia X group of carriers has on order. In addition to Thailand, the group also has operations in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Buranasiri said A330-900neo order would enable the AirAsia X group to “review potential future expansion opportunities where we witness the right levels of demand for great value, medium to long haul air travel”.
Brisbane Airport chief executive Gert-Jan de Graaff said the launch of Thai AirAsia X flights highlighted the potential of the Australia-Thailand market.
“Today’s launch is the start of a very exciting and successful partnership with AirAsia and we have no doubt these direct flights, combined with AirAsia’s renowned low fares and quality product and services, will be extremely popular with travellers in both directions,” de Graaff said.
Thai AirAsia X is the second airline offering nonstop flights between Brisbane and Thailand alongside national flag carrier Thai Airways, which has a four times weekly Brisbane-Bangkok Suvarnabhumi service with either Boeing 787s or 777s.
Brisbane Airport said it secured the new service from Thai AirAsia X with the support of the Queensland government’s attracting aviation investment fund and Brisbane Marketing.
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
VIDEO: Highlights from Brisbane Airport of Thai AirAsia X’s arrival at Brisbane Airport on Wednesday.