Cheap flights to Bangkok as Thai AirAsia X launches Sydney and Melbourne routes

Thai low-cost carrier AirAsia X will add two services between Australia and Thailand, with introductory fares starting at $299.

Australians will be able to fly directly to Bangkok from Melbourne and Sydney from December 1 and 2 respectively.

The Bangkok-Sydney route will operate four times a week, departing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while the Bangkok-Melbourne (Tullamarine) route will operate three times a week on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Thai AirAsia X is currently running a launch promotion for the routes, with economy flights starting at $299 each way and premium flat beds – what the airline calls its business class seats – starting at $1,199 each way.

Thai AirAsia X services will use 377-seat Airbus A330s, divided into business class cabins with 12 seats and economy cabins with 365 seats.

The new low-cost services will arrive in time for the peak Christmas travel period, boosting Australia’s connectivity to more than 30 destinations in Asia.

The news of direct services from Bangkok comes as Thailand consolidates as one of the fastest growing overseas destinations for Australians since borders reopened.

The tropical nation became the eighth most visited overseas destination in June with 17,460 resident returns, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Tassapon Bijleveld, acting chief executive of Thai AirAsia X, said Australian cities were popular with Thai tourists and students.

“Having recently resumed our services to South Korea and Japan, we are excited to now expand to Sydney and Melbourne as our next key growth markets,” said Bijleveld.

“As Australia’s largest cities, they both have a lot to offer in terms of the economy, tourism and education, making them great additions to the growing Thai AirAsia X network.”

Jim Parashos, Melbourne Airport’s chief aviation officer, hailed the new service and its potential to boost the state’s economy.

“This new route will also boost tourism to Victoria and support a growing Thai international student market. Prior to the pandemic, Thailand was one of the state’s top 10 source markets for international students and an important part of our economy,” Parashos said.

Greg Botham, commercial director of Sydney Airport, said the addition of the Bangkok low-cost route will make travel to Thailand accessible to more Australians.

“This service will provide an excellent low-cost option for Australians looking to travel safely during the busy end-of-year holidays to one of Asia’s most exciting destinations,” Botham said.

Thai AirAsia X will be the first international low-cost carrier to launch a direct Australia-Thailand route since Jetstar resumed services in January.

Jetstar relaunched its Phuket services from Melbourne and Sydney in mid-January, and a Melbourne-Bangkok service in mid-April, with Jetstar CEO Garath Evans crediting Thailand as one of the network’s most popular destinations. international carrier.

Thai AirAsia X, a joint venture between Malaysia’s AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia, has not made a significant bid in the Australian market since its launch in 2013.

The airline’s only Australian service to date, a short-lived Brisbane-Bangkok route, debuted in June 2019 but was axed the following April due to the pandemic.

In July, sister airline AirAsia X announced the resumption of flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth to Kuala Lumpur from November 1, 2022. The low-cost carrier will initially operate three services a week to each city, with a view to bringing this number to daily flights in 2023.

After another round of eased entry restrictions in June, bookings in Thailand surged, with Expedia naming it among its 10 most popular international destinations for spring, based on accommodation demand.

As of July 1, Australian visitors no longer need to complete a “Thailand Pass” or purchase a $10,000 travel insurance policy. People entering will still need to present proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of travel.

The Thai AirAsia X launch promotion lands on the same day as Virgin Australia and Jetstar launch major sales.

Virgin Australia has slashed fares on more than a million economy class seats, as part of a ‘Million Sale’ promotion, with domestic fares starting at $49 (Sydney-Byron Bay) and international fares at from $469 (Gold Coast-Bali).

Meanwhile, Jetstar has slashed 30,000 fares across its network, as part of the airline’s ‘spring sale’, with domestic fares starting at $49 (Adelaide to Melbourne) and international fares starting at $139 (Darwin in Bali). Both sales end at midnight Monday, September 5, 2022, unless fares are sold out before.

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