airasia X suspends sole new zealand flights
AirAsia X has decided to suspend its lone New Zealand services, just weeks after the budget airlines announced it will replace its Auckland to Sydney route with a Gold Coast route.
The low-cost carrier cited lower-than-expected demand as the reason for discontinuing services to and from Auckland, effective February 3, 2024.
The Gold Coast route is slated to become the airline's sole New Zealand connection after the Auckland to Sydney route ceases February 1. Both routes serve as connections for travelers between New Zealand and Malaysia.
Benyamin Ismail, the CEO of AirAsia X, expressed regret over the suspension of New Zealand services, emphasising Auckland's popularity among the airline's guests. Ismail mentioned the airline's commitment to exploring the possibility of resuming Auckland services in the future, contingent upon more favourable market conditions. He apologised to guests affected by the closure and assured them of prioritised reimbursements.
Guests will receive notifications via email and will be provided with the option of a full refund or credit for future use, according to the airline. Those who made bookings through third-party platforms will need to contact the respective third party for compensation.
In November, AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of AirAsia, announced the replacement of its Auckland to Sydney service with the Gold Coast service due to low demand. This decision left Kiwi customers grappling with compensation issues, particularly those who had booked tickets for the sold-out Taylor Swift concerts in Sydney in late February.
Despite offering competitive prices, AirAsia faced strong competition on the trans-Tasman route from established carriers like Air New Zealand and Qantas.
Kiwi customers had raised concerns about poor customer service, and instances of potentially misleading pricing were reported. AirAsia, known as one of the world's cheapest airlines, had resumed its New Zealand services in November 2022, providing flights from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur via Sydney and offering discounted trans-Tasman fares.