AirAsia will resume flight services from Auckland Airport (AKL) to the Gold Coast’s Coolangatta Airport (OOL) starting February 3, 2024.
The Malaysian low-cost carrier started the route 16 years ago, but suspended it prior to the pandemic. The airline has now opted to reinstate it due to popular demand.
At the same time, however, the airline announced that it will be suspending services on the Auckland Airport to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) route from January 31, 2024.
“Following a thorough network review, we have decided to suspend our services between Sydney and Auckland from late January next year. However, we remain committed to Auckland as a destination and will be transferring our services from Auckland to Gold Coast,” AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said in a press statement.
Ismail said that the Gold Coast continues to be a favorite key leisure destination for travelers from Auckland and Asia due to its renowned white sand beaches and theme parks. The Gold Coast is also a hugely popular destination for visiting friends and family and also for students.
Queensland Airports Chief Commercial Officer Adam Rowe said that the return of AirAsia X’s Gold Coast to Auckland connection would provide travelers with more options.
“Flights between the Gold Coast and Auckland are our busiest international connection, with more than 220,000 passengers traveling on that route since January. Around 60 percent of passengers traveling between the Gold Coast and New Zealand fly to or from Auckland, and the return of this service will add more than 350,000 extra seats on that route annually,” Rowe said.
Swifties not amused
Not everyone is pleased with AirAsia’s decision to axe the trans-Tasman route between Auckland and Sydney.
Taylor Swift fans attending the singer’s Sydney concert in February 2024 are among those affected by the suspension of the route.
Many of those who have booked flights via AirAsia have aired grievances to New Zealand media outlet Stuff, stating that they are confused and have been left in the dark regarding their affected flight bookings.
An AirAsia spokesperson told Stuff that full refunds and credits are available for affected guests, adding that information on how to make a claim can be found on the airline’s website.