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AIR ASIA X: Launches Sydney to Auckland flights

AIR ASIA X: Launches Sydney to Auckland flights

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based airline AirAsia X has announced flights between Sydney and Auckland to commence from November 2022. These ‘fifth freedom’ flights – that is, flights that neither start nor end in the operating Airline’s home country – can be a great way to travel. They are often very competitively priced and can offer upgraded cabin comforts not always available on the route. For example, they may offer international business class flat-beds on routes that normally only have ‘domestic’ business class recliner seats.

This is true of the AirAsia X flights proposed to service Sydney-Auckland. They will operate Airbus A330-300s on the route, with 12 Premium Flatbed seats and 365 Economy seats in a tight 3-3-3 configuration. One competitor, Qantas, for example, mainly flies ‘domestic’ Boeing 737-800s on the route with 12 recliner business seats, although some flights are also on Airbus A330s, which do have business class sleeper seats.

Frequency and cost

AirAsia X will fly this Kuala Lumpur-Sydney-Auckland route only 3 times a week initially, and of course, the airline works on the low-cost model, where you pay for everything extra. Economy is also high density, with 9 seats across, whereas most airlines have 8 seats across on these A330 aircraft. However, at AU$325 economy return, the fares are very attractive for a 3ish-hour flight.

a large white airplane on a runway

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Things are hotting up on the route, with a number of airline options available in the 2nd half of 2022. Besides the obvious Qantas, Air New Zealand, AirAsia X, and soon Virgin, you also have Emirates and Latam flying the route. Qatar is even flying from Adelaide to Auckland!

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