Christchurch reels as AirAsia X axes route

Christchurch reels as AirAsia X axes route
By admin

AirAsia X’s decision to axe its Christchurch service has been branded a “blow to South Island tourism” by frustrated officials at Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism

Chief executive Tim Hunter said the influx of visitors on the back of the four times weekly Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch service, which began in April 2011, had been a “ray of sunshine” in what had been a difficult year.
“The AirAsia X decision to suspend its Christchurch service is a blow to tourism interests right across the South Island who have benefitted from the 25,000 extra visitors Air Asia has flown to our region from South East Asia in the past year,” Hunter said.
The decision had also come just as the tourism body was embarking on a major marketing push in Malaysia.
But Hunter confirmed it would continue to promote the South Island to markets in South East Asia and China and remained confident that visitor numbers would continue to grow.
The low cost carrier revealed its “difficult” decision to cease the Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch service yesterday with flights to be suspended from May 30 ex Kuala Lumpur. The last flight from Christchurch will depart on May 31.
While load factors had been high, recording close to 80% in 2011, AirAsia X said the high cost of jet fuel had impacted the profitability of the route.

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