AirAsia X Deal "outstanding" for New Zealand
Friday 5, November 2010
Tourism New Zealand is delighted with AirAsia X's decision to open a new long-haul route between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch next year.
The AirAsia subsidiary has been named the world's best low-cost long-haul airline and, in combination with its parent company, flies 130 routes to 75 destinations around the world.
The Christchurch deal was finalised on Friday when a team of high profile Christchurch and New Zealand representatives, including Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler, flew to the airline's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Others in the team included Christchurch International Airport CEO Jim Boult, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, in-coming Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism CE Tim Hunter and the New Zealand High Commissioner for Malaysia, David Kersey.
Kevin Bowler says the deal will see AirAsia X open up a long-haul service from Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch from March next year. It will see about 30,000 more visitors enter New Zealand via Christchurch in the first year and will pump an estimated $60 million into the Christchurch region. In year two and beyond, Tourism New Zealand is predicting bigger arrival and value numbers based on more services each week.
"It's outstanding news for New Zealand, and particularly the South Island. We are seeing accelerated demand from all parts of Asia and this decision from Air Asia X couldn't come at a better time.
"Once in Christchurch, many Air Asia X visitors will travel further afield, so there will be tangible benefits from this deal for businesses in all parts of New Zealand," Kevin Bowler said.
Christchurch International Airport CEO Jim Boult said the airport has been developing the opportunity with Air Asia for the past two years.
"It's the fruition of an amazing group effort and the impact of the fabulous experiences available in the South Island. The fact that we had such a strong team... showed Air Asia X how committed we are to this partnership."
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