Malaysian long-haul LCC AirAsia X announced July 10 it will move its twice-daily operations to Melbourne, Australia, from Tullamarine International Airport to Avalon Airport.

The move, to begin Dec.5, will make AirAsia X the second airline after Australian LCC Jetstar and the first international operator to fly scheduled flights out of the single-runway Avalon airport.

Operating the Airbus A330-300, the two daily flights will be adjusted from the current Kuala Lumpur-Tullamarine schedule, arriving Avalon in the morning and evening.

AirAsia told ATW that the move would mean lower operating costs.

Avalon is undergoing an A$20 million ($14.7 million) extension to handle international flights, which will include adding retail and immigration facilities. The upgrade will make Avalon the second international airport in the Victoria state.

“The new state of the art facilities provides a more seamless and efficient airport experience with hassle free check in, arrivals and departures,” the spokesperson said. “The airport is conveniently located closer to one of Australia's iconic tourism destinations--the Great Ocean Road. It also allows for future potential expansion of services to and from Melbourne.”

He added that AirAsia has established a partnership with local transport companies to provide access to the airport, details of which will be announced in the future.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com