A new AirAsia service between Bangkok and Brisbane starting in June 2019 is forecast to inject up to $156 million to the Queensland economy over the next three years.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the new service, supported through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, in partnership with Brisbane Airport Corporation and Brisbane Marketing, will fly four times-a-week and attract close to 25,000 visitors every year.
“This new route will help to open up Asia and improve connectivity for visitors from key Eastern markets,” Ms Jones said.
“This is a great opportunity to attract visitors from other destinations across Asia, with potential to improve access to Queensland for Indian and Chinese tourists connecting via AirAsia’s extensive international network and hub in Bangkok.
“It will also help to boost visitation from Thailand, one of Queensland’s emerging markets with great potential for growth.
“Over the past year Queensland welcomed 19,000 travellers from Thailand who spent $44 million. We expect to welcome more Thai visitors travelling on this route allowing us to grow this base.
“Continuing to increase aviation access and provide travellers with another entry point to Australia is a key strategy in the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to grow Queensland’s tourism industry.
“Since Labor won government in 2015, we’ve secured about 2.4 million extra airline seats worth around $1.8 billion for Queensland. That’s because we’re committed to creating more tourism jobs in our state.”
Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said with Brisbane’s new runway opening in 18 months, the decision by AirAsia and its affiliate, Thai AirAsia X, to bring its first-ever aircraft from Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok to Brisbane was a welcome move.
“Thailand is an aspirational destination for Australians and one of Brisbane Airport’s largest under-served markets, so AirAsia’s low fare flight options direct into the heart of Bangkok are sure to be very popular with travellers,” Mr de Graaff said.
“We are excited to welcome AirAsia to the Brisbane Airport family and look forward to supporting and contributing to the success of these services.”
AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri said the new route would increase traffic from Asia to Queensland.
“Queensland became AirAsia’s home in Australia when the first AirAsia X flight touched down on the Gold Coast in October 2007. Since that time, we’ve carried more than 2 million passengers to and from the Sunshine State,” he said.
“This new route to Brisbane will not only increase traffic between Thailand and Queensland, but importantly provide guests with a low-cost option to explore Bangkok and the more than 130 destinations found in AirAsia’s network.
“We look forward to working with Brisbane Airport, the Queensland Government and the local tourism industry to make these new services a success.”
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said attracting AirAsia to Brisbane was a major coup for the city.
“The new AirAsia services will give us the opportunity to attract more visitors from Asian markets and help our city develop closer business ties with the region,” Cr Quirk said.
“Our New World City has a clear focus on engaging with the Asia-Pacific region and the new AirAsia services will reinforce that.”