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Malaysia-Gold Coast direct flight services resume

03 Apr 2023

More than 1,000 days after the service was stopped by the pandemic, AirAsia X flights direct from Kuala Lumpur have returned to the Gold Coast.

The first AirAsia X service since early 2020 touched down at Gold Coast Airport’s new international terminal on Saturday morning, 1 April 2023.

AirAsia X will initially fly three services a week to the Gold Coast but plans to increase to five return flights per week later in the year.

The return of AirAsia X will land an extra 58,000 inbound international seats to the Gold Coast.

AirAsia X from Kuala Lumpur is the 16th new or restarted service supported by the government’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

Designed to build back international airline services in a highly competitive post-Covid environment, the fund has secured 1.1 million direct international seats for Queensland airports and almost $1 billion in visitor spending, supporting nearly 9,000 Queensland jobs.

AirAsia X’s service return is predicted to generate $45.6 million for the Gold Coast’s visitor economy.

AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail, who travelled from KL onboard the flight, told waiting journalists ‘it was like coming home’.

“Today is an incredibly important day for AAX as we return to the Gold Coast - our first ever route which was launched in November 2007,” he said.

“The Gold Coast will always hold a special place in our hearts and what makes this announcement even more of a major milestone is that AAX is now the only airline connecting Kuala Lumpur directly to the Gold Coast and Queensland.

“Our newest route now provides the most affordable and convenient air travel option for guests who want to explore one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations linking visitors through Kuala Lumpur from destinations like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India and more.”

Queensland Airports CEO Amelia Evans said that since AirAsia X flight took off from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast in 2007 more than 2 million travellers have flown between the two cities.

“The return of this service re-establishes an important connection between two major tourism and economic hubs at a competitive price for international travel, and an important partnership with AirAsia X for the future,” she said.

“We’re also excited to have been able to welcome AirAsia X back to our new International Terminal, providing visitors with an elevated experience from the moment they touch down into the Gold Coast and the region.”

Destination Gold Coast Interim CEO Karen Bolinger said AirAsia X’s reunion with the Gold Coast reopened a critical gateway to the South East Asian market and beyond.

“The Gold Coast is a vibrant city surrounded by golden beaches, lush ancient rainforests, a delicious dining scene, world-class exhibitions, shopping and more than 160 immersive experiences, all within an hour’s drive,” she said.

“We couldn’t be more excited for AirAsia X’s touch down back to our shores in what marks a significant milestone globally as the Gold Coast’s visitor economy rebuilds.”