Queensland has welcomed the inaugural AirAsia service between Bangkok and Brisbane, with the first flight touching down at Brisbane Airport today.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the new service would inject up to $156 million into the Queensland economy over the next three years.
“This is a great day for Queensland as we welcome yet another new inbound service to the state,” Ms Jones said.
“Asia is a key market for Queensland’s tourism industry and this new service will bring more than 235,000 inbound seats to Brisbane over the next three years, providing a $156 million boost to the state’s economy and supporting 660 jobs.
“The Queensland Government supports new services through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund because we know providing travellers with direct access to the state is key to growing our tourism industry.
“Not only are we supporting a direct flight for visitors from Thailand, but this service provides an opportunity for visitors from destinations across Asia.”
The new service is supported by the Queensland Government in partnership with Brisbane Airport Corporation and Brisbane City Council via Brisbane Marketing.
AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri said the airline was pleased to add Brisbane to its list of destinations.
“We are delighted to have a new home in Queensland, adding Brisbane to our key Australian ports after we commenced operating flights from the Gold Coast in 2007,” Mr Buranasiri said.
“The direct service between Bangkok and Brisbane strengthens our connections into Australia and adds to our extensive network of more than 140 destinations worldwide.
“In addition to attracting visitors to Brisbane, the new service will give locals a direct link to the bustling street markets, thriving nightlife and iconic temples of Thailand’s capital city as well as the stunning islands and beaches within easy reach of Bangkok.
“We look forward to working with Brisbane Airport, the Queensland Government and the local tourism industry to make these new services a success.”
Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said there was nothing more exciting for an airport than the arrival of a new airline and the launch of new services.
“Committing valuable resources to establish a new route to a new destination is a major commitment for any airline and we are very happy AirAsia has recognised the huge potential of the market between Thailand and Brisbane and is backing that potential,” Mr de Graaff said.
“Today’s launch is the start of a very exciting and successful partnership with AirAsia and we have no doubt these direct flights, combined with AirAsia’s renowned low fares and quality product and services, will be extremely popular with travellers in both directions.”
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the new AirAsia direct service from Bangkok to Brisbane marked another phase in Brisbane’s tourism evolution.
“The new AirAsia direct service will help us continue to grow visitor numbers from Asia, supporting our small businesses and jobs across our accommodation, hospitality, retail and service sectors,” he said.
“The latest International Visitor Survey revealed the number of Asian visitors to Brisbane has reached record levels, climbing 5.5 per cent to 605,000 over the year to March.
“With more to see and do in Brisbane than ever before, Asian visitors are increasingly attracted by our lifestyle offerings through growth in new hotels, entertainment precincts, restaurants and venues.”