“I’m going on an adventure!” – Bilbo Baggins.
In May 2012, AirAsia X made the difficult decision to suspend its 11-hour flights to Christchurch, New Zealand. The low-cost long haul carrier used to fly 4x weekly between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch, but at that time, rising fuel costs compromised the carrier’s ability to offer low fares.
On top of that, the 2011 earthquakes further complicated things and reduced travel to Christchurch, deeming it an unprofitable destination for the airline.
But now, 3 years after AirAsia X pulled its short-lived service between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur, it looks like the airline is looking at reopening the New Zealand route. Perhaps not to Christchurch but to Auckland instead.
The surprise announcement was made via AirAsia’s Facebook page yesterday:
Auckland is the largest and most populous urban area in New Zealand, and is home to 32% percent of the country’s population. It boasts both an urban environment as well as breathtaking nature as everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and a dozen enchanting holiday islands.
New Zealand, particularly Auckland, was made famous by Peter Jackson because of the “Lord of the Rings” films and is now “the centre of Middle Earth”. In fact, you can take a magical journey through Middle Earth to the Hobbiton movie set via a fascinating guided tour from Auckland to Rotorua.
If you’d like ;)
Flights to Auckland take about 10 hours, and currently, there aren’t any low cost carrier options in the New Zealand to the Southeast Asia market since Jetstar Airways withdrew its Auckland to Singapore service in 2014. Malaysia Airlines does, however, serve a Kuala Lumpur to Auckland route, but AirAsia X would be able to offer (low cost) connections beyond Kuala Lumpur to dozens of points throughout the region.
There has been no word on when AirAsia X’s maiden flight to New Zealand will be but keep checking back with us as we’ll be updating this post with more details ASAP :)
UPDATE (12th January, 1pm):
As we had expected, AirAsia X’s brand new destination was officially launched in Kuala Lumpur today. Wanderlusters can now discover Auckland city and enjoy the city’s hidden gems as the long-haul, low-fare affiliate of the AirAsia Group has commenced its operations into Auckland, New Zealand via Gold Coast, Australia.
The daily flights will start on 22nd March 2016.
To celebrate the announcement of the new route, AirAsia X is offering promotional all-in-fares from as low as RM499* one way (economy) and from as low as RM1499* one way (Premium Flatbed). These promotional fares are available for booking online starting 13th – 24th January 2016 for the travel period from 22nd March 2016 – 5th February 2017.
Go get ’em! ;)