Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia X will add two services between Australia and Thailand, with introductory fares starting at $299.
Australians will be able to fly directly to Bangkok from Melbourne and Sydney from December 1 and 2, respectively.
The Bangkok-Sydney route will fly four times a week, with departures on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, while the Bangkok-Melbourne (Tullamarine) service will operate three times a week on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Thai AirAsia X is currently running a launch promotion for the routes, with economy flights starting at $299 one way and premium flat beds, what the airline calls its business class seats, starting at $1199 one way.
Thai AirAsia X services will use 377-seat Airbus A330 aircraft, divided into 12-seat business class cabins and economy cabins comprising 365 seats.
The new low-cost services will arrive in time for the peak Christmas travel period, bolstering Australia’s connectivity to more than 30 destinations in Asia.
The news of direct services from Bangkok comes as Thailand establishes itself as one of the fastest growing overseas destinations for Australians since borders reopened.
The tropical nation emerged as the eighth most visited foreign destination in June with 17,460 returning residents, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Tassapon Bijleveld, acting CEO of Thai AirAsia X, said Australian cities were popular with Thai tourists and students.
“Having recently resumed services to South Korea and Japan, we are delighted to now expand to Sydney and Melbourne as our next key growth markets,” said Bijleveld.
“As Australia’s largest cities, they both have much to offer in terms of strong economies, tourism and education, making them important additions to the growing Thai AirAsia X network.”
Jim Parashos, head of aviation at Melbourne Airport, welcomed the new service and its potential to boost the state economy.
“This new route will also boost tourism to Victoria and support a growing international Thai student market. Before the pandemic, Thailand was one of the state’s top 10 international student source markets and an important part of our economy,” he said. Parashoes.
Greg Botham, commercial director of Sydney Airport, said the addition of the low-cost route from Bangkok will make travel to Thailand accessible to more Australians.
“This service will provide an excellent low-cost option for Australians looking for safe travel over the busy year-end holidays to one of Asia’s most exciting destinations,” said Botham.
Thai AirAsia X will be the first low-cost international airline to launch a direct Australia-Thailand route since Jetstar resumed services in January.
Jetstar relaunched its Phuket services from Melbourne and Sydney in mid-January, and a Melbourne-Bangkok service in mid-April, with Jetstar CEO Garath Evans crediting Thailand as one of the most popular destinations in Jetstar’s international network. The airline.
Thai AirAsia X, a joint venture of Malaysia’s AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia, has not made a significant offering for the Australian market since its launch in 2013.
The airline’s only Australian service to date, a short-haul route between Brisbane and Bangkok, debuted in June 2019 but was scrapped the following April due to the pandemic.
In July, sister carrier AirAsia X announced the resumption of flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth to Kuala Lumpur from November 1, 2022. The low-cost carrier will initially operate three services per week to each city, with a view to increase this to daily flights in 2023.
After a new round of more relaxed entry restrictions in June, bookings in Thailand increased and Expedia named it among its top 10 most popular international destinations for spring, based on accommodation demand.
As of July 1, Australian visitors no longer need to complete a ‘Thailand Pass’ or take out a $10,000 travel insurance policy. Those entering will still need to show proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of travel.
The Thai AirAsia X launch promotion comes on the same day that Virgin Australia and Jetstar kick off major sales.
Virgin Australia has slashed fares for over a million economy seats, as part of a ‘Million Sale’ promotion, with domestic fares starting at $49 (Sydney-Byron Bay) and international fares starting at $469 (Gold Coast-Bali).
Meanwhile, Jetstar has discounted 30,000 fares across its network, part of the airline’s ‘Spring Sale’, with domestic fares starting at $49 (Adelaide to Melbourne) and international fares starting at $139 (Darwin to Bali). Both sales end at midnight on Monday, September 5, 2022, unless fares are sold earlier.