INTERNATIONAL flights to and from Avalon Airport could start as soon as October, with AirAsia announcing it will move its Victorian operations from Tullamarine Airport in the fourth quarter of this year.
The airline has previously promised to start its AirAsia X twice-daily flights to Kuala Lumpur by the end of this year, and last week stated it will “confirm a date for Avalon operations in the coming months”.
Construction of the $20 million international terminal is already underway.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said the airline was extremely excited by the opportunity.
“It has been a long time coming. Our move to Avalon will translate to lower fares for travellers, allowing more people to fly between Australia and Southeast Asia. We believe the time is now and momentum is building.
“More and more countries, including Australia, are beginning to realise the need for a dedicated low-cost airport.
“We would like to congratulate the Australian and Victorian Governments for supporting low-cost travel and championing people.”
AirAsia X chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail said the airline expected to carry half a million visitors from and to Avalon Airport annually.
“We are confident this will provide a significant boost to the local economy, generate additional jobs locally, as well as lay the foundations for new business and trade opportunities for the region.
“We are currently working closely with Avalon, tourism partners in the region and other relevant authorities to ensure our infrastructure and facilities needs are being met to ensure a smooth transition later this year.”
AirAsia says its passengers will benefit from a range of “Avalon Advantages” in the move away from Tullamarine, including cheaper parking, no Tullamarine freeway tolls, new airport infrastructure and a hassle-free arrival and departure process.