Australians can expect cheaper flights to Thailand, thanks to the arrival of a Thai AirAsia X on the busy Melbourne and Sydney routes.
For the first time since the pandemic began, a non-stop Melbourne to Bangkok flight took off yesterday afternoon from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. The budget airline’s first flight on its new Sydney to Bangkok route departed today.
Thai AirAsia X will use Airbus A330s on both routes, featuring 377 seats including 12 lie-flat premium seats. Tickets went on sale in August but the first flight only saw 80 per cent of seats occupied. The return leg was fully booked.
Thai AirAsia X will fly from Melbourne three times a week – Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, – and from Sydney four times – Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Australians have always had something of a love affair with Thailand. The proximity, lifestyle, people and favourable exchange rates have for many years combined to make it the holiday destination of choice for generations of Australian travellers and tourists.
Before the pandemic, Thailand attracted large numbers of Australians for tourism and business – pre-pandemic, approximately 800,000 Australians visited Thailand each year.
Although the budget carrier launched its first Australian route in 2019 with a Brisbane to Bangkok flight, the flight was stopped in its tracks by the pandemic. However, COVID-19 proved a blessing in disguise, according to Thai AirAsia X chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld who said…
“We always wanted to come to the high-traffic cities, which of course are Melbourne and Sydney. But before COVID, all the (airport landing) slots were full, the airport was congested – we couldn’t get access.”