Malaysia’s Air Asia X has announced plans to shift its Melbourne flights to Avalon Airport in Geelong towards the end of 2018. The double-daily Avalon-Kuala Lumpur services would be the first regular international flights for Avalon Airport.
Air Asia X flies twice-daily between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur using densely-configured Airbus A330-300s, with one day flight and one overnight service in each direction.
Avalon Airport – almost an hour from Melbourne’s CBD – is not located as conveniently as Melbourne’s main airport. The move to Avalon Airport allows the low-cost carrier to offer even lower fares than it already does from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. But will the lower fares be enough to entice travellers to use Avalon Airport?
I could see AVV being a turn-off for many pax, but that could be offset by lower fares.
It is believed that financial incentives may have been part of the agreement between Air Asia X and Avalon Airport. As well as lower landing fees and passenger charges at Avalon Airport, some media outlets have reported that a freight deal is in the works.
Although Avalon is 55km from Melbourne’s CBD, it’s hugely convenient for passengers travelling to Geelong or the Great Ocean Road. Regular bus services also connect Avalon Airport to the Melbourne CBD.
The surf coast / GOR is becoming increasing popular as a self-drive destination for foreign tourists so there is some advantage in arriving in AVV and heading straight to Geelong then GOR.
Some passengers may also prefer the less-crowded Avalon to Melbourne’s congested Tullamarine Airport.
Tulla is overcrowded, and Avalon is under-utilised. Sadly the opportunity has really been lost, but the best way to use both would have been to force all LCC operations to Avalon. It would be quite a busy place by now.
It remains to be seen whether the new route will be a success for Air Asia X. The proposed deal between Air Asia X and Avalon Airport would last ten years, but some feel the Avalon-Kuala Lumpur services won’t last that long…
The fares are super low ex-MEL already, how much lower are they going to be…I predict another AVV LCC failure.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Air Asia to fly to Geelong (AVV)