Crossing the Tasman is about to get a lot cheaper with the return of budget airline AirAsiaX to New Zealand skies.
The airline has announced it will operate services from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne (Tullamarine), Sydney and Perth, as well as Auckland.
Flights to Auckland will operate via Sydney, which is good news for Kiwis looking for a holiday in Australia.
AirAsiaX has released launch fares of $169 one-way economy from Auckland to Sydney, and $618 for their flatbed premium product.
The airline's first flight out of Auckland will take place on November 1.
Currently, airfares to Sydney are selling for as much as $500-$700 one-way on Air New Zealand and Qantas.
However, on November 1, the same day AirAsiaX begins its trans-Tasman service, one-way airfares to Sydney drop to $265 on Air NZ, and $316 on Qantas.
AirAsiaX is also launching its services to New Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka and Honolulu as well as London, Dubai and Istanbul.
"We are thrilled to recommence our services to Australia and New Zealand as a core part of our expansion strategy with our famous great value fares for medium to long-haul travel," the airline's CEO Benyamin Ismail said.
"In 2019, we flew over a million guests to both countries, which shows that Australia and New Zealand are important markets for us and we connected the same number of Australians and New Zealanders to Malaysia and across ASEAN.
"After a two-year hiatus we are back stronger than ever and proud to renew our commitment to making medium to long-haul air travel affordable once again for everyone in this region as well as across ASEAN."
Auckland Airport general manager customer and aeronautical commercial Scott Tasker has welcomed the return of the airline to Aotearoa.
"We can't wait to see AirAsia X touching down again at Auckland Airport in November. The new service will not only provide more choice for trans-Tasman travellers looking for competitive fares on the popular route between Sydney and Auckland but is a great option for those wanting to connect through to AirAsia's extensive Asian network.
"With the widebody A330 flying the Auckland-Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route, it also adds substantial cargo capacity, which is great news for freight operators and exporters looking for options through to Sydney and beyond into Asia," he said.
AirAsiaX tickets will go on sale from July 19.