New era in budget travel to Asia as AirAsia X lands
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By Angela Saurine
April 02, 2012 5:45PM
First AirAsia X flight arrives in Sydney
One-way sale fares to KL from $199
Airfare price war on Asia flights
The inaugural AirAsia X flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney arrived today. Picture: Supplied
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BUDGET airline AirAsia X's first plane landed in Sydney today, sparking a new era in cheap travel to Asia.
The airline will operate daily flights to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, with new one-way sale fares from $199 for online bookings until Thursday.
It also has fly-thru promotional fares to Japan, Bali, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam from $239.
Singapore Airline's budget offshoot Scoot will also begin flying from Sydney to Singapore in July.
The new airlines will make it quicker and cheaper to get to Asia than ever before, with AirAsia X offering links to more than 80 destinations.
Sydney is AirAsia X's fourth Australian destination after the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth and its move into the Harbour City had been highly anticipated for some time.
The airline had previously been denied permission to fly from Sydney by the Malaysian Government, despite receiving the green light from local authorities, because it wanted to protect its national carrier from aggressive new price competition.
In late 2010, the airline painted the phrase "Liberate Sydney. End the Monopoly'' on the side of its newest plane.
AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani and members of the airline's board of directors joined passengers on the inaugural D7222 flight.
"AirAsia X's presence in Sydney is a game changer which will deliver more competitive fares and choice for Sydneysiders," Mr Osman-Rani said.
"We are very excited to bring some much-needed competition to Sydney's skies and continue to live up to our brand promise of Now everyone can fly.''
Mr Osman-Rani said he had been delighted with the response to the Sydney service and the airline has recorded strong forward sales since it opened the route for sale in January.
The sale fares are valid for travel from June 26 until September 30, 2012 and terms and conditions apply.