View Full Version : Air Asia X to Christchurch

1st Nov 2010, 08:43
As reported over the weekend

AirAsia X to start KL-Christchurch flights

WELLINGTON: Malaysian long-haul budget airline Air Asia X will start flying to New Zealand early next year with direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch, aviation officials confirmed Saturday

"This is a really positive development for not only Christchurch but for the wider New Zealand economy," said Norm Thompson, deputy chief executive of the New Zealand flag carrier Air New Zealand.

"The South East Asian market will certainly benefit from increased competition."

Christchurch, the main city in New Zealand's South Island has been lobbying AirAsia X for most of the year after an airport executive saw a media report that the Malaysian carrier had New Zealand in its sights.

The government-owned Malaysia Airlines already flies to the main North Island city of Auckland.

Christchurch city mayor Bob Parker told The Press newspaper from Kuala Lumpur, where the agreement was signed on Friday, that the service would be launched about March with four return flights a week.

An independent assessment had shown the new service could stimulate 600-700 jobs and bring up to 70 million New Zealand dollars (52 million US) to the city, which was recently devastated by an earthquake.

"I think we've achieved an absolute coup for our city... we beat out Auckland, we actually beat out Sydney and it's going to revolutionise for a lot of Kiwis flying into the international marketplace because it's going to introduce incredibly low fares."

Christchurch International Airport chief executive Jim Boult said details of the new service would be revealed in the near future.

"The exact date of launch is yet to be decided but it will be around March next year and details of bookings and fare structures etc will come out in the next couple of weeks," Boult said.


So 4 A330 flighte per week are going to generate another 70,000 visitors to Christchurch per year, 1345 per week, Assuming a 90%/10% split between visitors and the kiwi market this makes each flight having a passenger load of of 376 seats nearly a 100% load factor of the 377 or 383 seats configuration they have on their A330s.

The Mayor and the CEO of the airport are also quoting that this will generate 600- 700 new jobs. 4 International flights per week handling at best 1300 odd passengers into and out of Christchurch? That is one new job for every 2 or 3 passengers.

Perhaps the salesmanship and reality might not quite align.

Will be interesting to see how good or otherwise this turns out to be.

1st Nov 2010, 09:26
By my calculations assuming an average load factor of 75% it's only 60,000 inbound pax per year If one were to assume that 1/3 of these are returning Kiwis then it's only it's probably no more than 40,000 inbound pax who will be dumping money into the Christchurch economy. That's just under $1800 per head.

I would bet that a siginificant number won't stay in Christchurch at all so the spend per head will be well north of $3000 per head to get the $70,000,000 quoted.

Interesting to see how their figures were arrived at.

1st Nov 2010, 19:57
Direct service? Seems a mighty long way for a A333..

1st Nov 2010, 22:08
WMKK-NZCH great circle 4692

333 range at MTOW 5850

1st Nov 2010, 22:39
This service was originally touted about 8-9 months ago as over OOL. Using an A330 I would have thought combining it as an extension of the OOL service would be more sensible, similar to EK with their B777 into CHC over SYD.
I am just happy to see another Widebody aircraft into CHC. :D
Even Direct, Air Asia X does not tend to operate close to MTOW out of MEL so the range shouldn't be too much of an issue.