Melbourne Avalon Airport To Get AirAsia Flights To Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia to Stop Flights From Mumbai

Screenshot: TIMES OF INDIA

TRAVEL: AirAsia has announced that it is officially moving its operations from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport to Avalon Airport. 

Avalon Airport is less than an hour from the Melbourne CBD region and is located near the town of Geelong. AirAsia will operate the first international flights to and from Avalon Airport.

The airline stated that it has chosen to move its operations for two main reasons. 

The first reason is operating costs. Avalon Airport provides the airline with lower costs, which allows them to maintain their low fares for people traveling to and from Australia.

The second reason that the airline has given for their choice of location is where the airport is located. The airport in Avalon is the closest airport to the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is an Australian heritage site that stretches over 151 miles of the coastline. 

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for travelers from Asia, and the airline reckons this would encourage more people to visit this area if they had easy access to the Great Ocean Road.

Since AirAsia X - AirAsia's long-haul arm - began operating 10 years ago, AirAsia has flown over 30 million people to destinations around the world. Of these 30 million, over six million were people visiting or returning to Australia.

AirAsia will operate a twice-daily flight between Kuala Lumpur and Avalon Airport later this year. It anticipates that these new flights and this new location will help the airline move over 500,000 people this year to and from this airport in its first year of operations.

AirAsia to stop flights from Mumbai from April 29

MUMBAI: AirAsia has again decided to pull its flights out of Mumbai airport—this time, barely a year after relaunch. 

From April 29, Indonesian AirAsia X will not operate its Mumbai-Kuala Lumpur flights, which were popular with city tourists bound for Bali. The decision has left hundreds of passengers who have already booked their summer jaunt to Bali in the lurch.

Confirming the flight suspension, an AirAsia India spokesperson said that passengers who had bought tickets on Mumbai-Kuala Lumpur-Bali flights scheduled post April 29 have been given four options. 

First, re-route their flights through other nearby AirAsia destinations in India (at no cost, but subject to ticket availability) or retain the value of the fare in a credit account to be redeemed in six months or change the travel date to one before April 29 (again subject to availability) or obtain a refund.

A Mumbaikar who had booked three Mumbai-Bali return tickets on January 10 for a family holiday in May said the options don’t compensate for the inconvenience and losses due to the sudden announcement. 

For Rs 56,233, she had booked three return tickets in January for travel in May. “I spent a lot of time trying to contact the airline customer care to re-route. 

The options they gave us involved 10-20 hour transit in Kuala Lumpur, which is highly inconvenient. Now, we’ve decided to opt for a refund. 

We had luckily not booked a hotel,” she said and demanded that the airline book them on another flight to Bali or pay compensation for the losses incurred because of their decision to suspend flights.

Another passenger was looking forward to an Australian holiday after almost a year-long wait. She had booked two Mumbai-Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne return tickets for Rs 54,000 in August 2017 for travel in August 2018. She is likewise distraught.

Since its launch in India, AirAsia has had an on-off relationship with Mumbai. Air Asia had first launched flights into Mumbai in 2010 with daily departures to Kuala Lumpur. 

But the airline stopped the flights after two years, citing steep costs. AirAsia brands— AirAsia India, AirAsia Berhad, AirAsia X Berhad and Thai AirAsia—currently operate flights into 31 destinations in India, including all metros and several non-metros. Mumbai continues to blink and disappear on the AirAsia radar though.

2.  Times Of India


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