Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    New low-cost airline to bring millions of tourist dollars to WA

    15/05/2008 12:00 AM

    Tourism from Malaysia to Western Australia will go sky-high thanks to new, direct flights with low-cost airline AirAsia X.


    Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said a new deal between Tourism WA, AirAsia X and Westralia Airports Corporation could inject nearly $100million into the Western Australian economy in the service’s first year.


    “The introduction of direct flights between Kuala Lumpur to Perth should see visitor numbers and spending increase significantly as holiday-makers take advantage of low prices,” Ms McHale said.


    “Malaysia is already one of WA’s top tourism markets, with nearly 40,000 visitors every year spending $157million.


    “With AirAsia X having the broadest low-cost carrier route network in South East Asia and China, the airline is expected to bring an additional 40,000 international visitors to WA in the first year.


    Next year, AirAsia X will start direct flights between London and Kuala Lumpur which will further boost the number of United Kingdom visitors - our biggest international market - to WA.”


    The Minister said low-cost carriers had historically been successful in boosting tourism by offering competitive fares and attracting visitors who had not travelled widely before.


    “Tourism WA and AirAsia X will use this exciting opportunity to carry out extensive marketing campaigns in South East Asia to encourage visitors to book a holiday in WA,” she said.


    AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani said AirAsia X services to WA would start on November 2, initially with six flights a week, increasing to daily services in March 2009.


    “AirAsia X will feed passengers from its extensive network into Perth, effectively creating a low-cost link from South East Asia and China to WA,” Mr Rani said.


    “In 2007, we carried 18.5 million passengers around our network of 90 routes across South East Asia and China.”


    Westralia Airports Corporation chief executive officer Brad Geatches said the arrival of AirAsia X would be a profitable win for the State’s tourism industry.


    “Low-cost carriers such as AirAsia X make up an increasingly important element of global tourism transportation infrastructure,” Mr Geatches said.


    “Perth is AirAsia X’s second destination to Australia and presents an opportunity for Perth Airport to become a major hub for low-cost carriers.


    “Our recently announced $1billion plan to consolidate the International and Domestic Terminals means we will be well-placed to meet the growing demand from people travelling through Perth.”


    Seats are now on sale from


    Minister's office - 9213 6900