peh
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AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:46 pm

AirAsiaX has been suggesting since 2001 that its Australian expansion plans would include Newcastle airport. It says that the landing fess at Sydney are too prohibitive. This statement was repeated in an SMH article this week.

My question is a simple one (and one that AirAsiaX should be asking) - Is Newcastle airport set-up for international flights?
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TruemanQLD
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:49 pm

No, especially not of an aircraft the size of an A333
 
jbernie
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:15 pm

Regardless of whether the airport can handle international, is the market in that region sufficent for the service? You are either driving to Newcastle from Sydney or taking one of the intercity trains and they certainly arent designed for passengers with luggage.

The drive alone would add a good 90 mins or more for anyone in the sydney region (except maybe extreme north).

If this really was viable the wouldnt JQ be testing this already for one or two flights a week?

For better or worse in regards to landing fees, SYD is the most desirable airport in the area in regards to market size. If JQ or any other competitor is within about $30-50 per ticket they are instantly more desirable to AirAsiaX at NTL due to the hassle/extra cost of getting yourself to/from that airport.

I guess if the landing fees made enough difference, they could get their ticket prices down, but i would still question the market size, even pulling in from the Tamworth/Armidale region as well as further up the central coast. Sydney has 2/3rds of the population of NSW and with that a lot more adults without kids who can do vacation trips during school term and all.

Just checked the city rail website, One way A$17.40 per adult from Sydney (Central) to Newcastle, add bus/taxi costs from station to airport, then double this for the return trip. So I guess if JQ can be within $50-70 per person return they are still on equal terms without including the extra travel time which at best appears to be about 2hrs35mins each way assuming a limited stops service.

I'm sure the Newcastle region would love to have convenient international services to asia, but I would be concerned about long term viability.
 
DavidByrne
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:47 am

Quoting Peh (Thread starter):
Is Newcastle airport set-up for international flights?

A few years ago, NTL had a regular 733 service Auckland-NTL-Auckland on Freedom Air, 3 x a week. However, it didn't last long.
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DJ748
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:46 am

NTL airport would be setup for international flights. Norfolk Air, which have planes leased from OzJet (737-200) are doing a 1x weekly service between NTL and Norfolk Island. Althought Norfolk Island is Australian territory, even Australian citizens need a passport to get there, and hence why the flights leave from the international terminals at BNE, SYD and MEL.
 
peh
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:11 am

I tend to agree with Jbernie. International flights at Newcastle airport would be unviable for all concerned.

Passengers - They'd have to spend considerable time and money getting to their final destination (ie: Sydney). I'm not going out of my way to be Sydney-Centric but, let's face it, people aren't travelling from Asia to visit Newcastle. Williamtown isn't exactly in the heart of Newcastle either. They'd be looking at $40 cab charged to the nearest train station.

Airlines - Passenger numbers would be low.

Newcastle Airport Coporation - The capital expenditure needed to bring the airport up to the standard required for an international A330 wuld be huge. There's no way they'd be able to recoup the cash.

I think AirAsiaX is bluffing. They're probably in negotiations with Sydney Airport as we speak. They think that waving Newcastle around as an alternative is going to give them an advantage. If so, they're just going to end up looking stupid.
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DavidByrne
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:07 am

Quoting Peh (Reply 5):
I think AirAsiaX is bluffing. They're probably in negotiations with Sydney Airport as we speak. They think that waving Newcastle around as an alternative is going to give them an advantage. If so, they're just going to end up looking stupid.

Mind you, similar expressions of doubt were made about the viability of AVV as a LCC alternate to MEL - yet it happened. Looked at from the point of view of a LCC, NTL might make perfect sense, especially if there's transport offered from SYD (at a price, no doubt). Never say never . . .
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CXfirst
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:15 am

Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 3):
A few years ago, NTL had a regular 733 service Auckland-NTL-Auckland on Freedom Air, 3 x a week. However, it didn't last long.

If NTL can't sustain that, then a 333 will be even harder to sustain.

The only way NTL will work in my perspective is if they market it in the style of ryanair. NTL -Sydney (Newcastle)

This will work best for people coming to Australia, and don't know the local geography.

-CXfirst
 
DavidByrne
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:16 am

. . . besides, I seriously doubt that landing fees at SYD are negotiable on a carrier-by-carrier basis. A strategy that was aimed at getting SYD management to capitulate on that sort of issue would be doomed to failure, and the Air AsiaX people are no mugs; they will understand that absolutely. I'm picking that if it's under consideration, it's because they feel it has potential as an LCC alternative to SYD. I'm assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that OOL fills the same function for Air AsiaX with respect to BNE - and that landing fees are lower at OOL than BNE.
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peh
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:17 am

Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 6):
Never say never . . .

As a former Novacastrian, I would like to think you're right but I really doubt it. Avalon is approximately 62kms from Melbourne. Newcastle is approximately 162kms to Sydney. Can you imagine getting off an 8 hour flight from Malaysia only to spend 30 minutes on a bus and then 3 hours on a train?

Avalon is to Melbourne what the Central Coast is to Sydney. Newcastle is a whole new ballgame.
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jbernie
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:52 am

Quoting Peh (Reply 9):
Avalon is to Melbourne what the Central Coast is to Sydney

Any Melbourne folk advise on what the public transit is like from Melbourne to Avalon airport of if there is any? Or long term parking costs? Melbourne to Avalon appears to be only about an extra 40km over Melbourne to MEL.

Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 8):
I'm assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that OOL fills the same function for Air AsiaX with respect to BNE - and that landing fees are lower at OOL than BNE.

26km to the Gold Coast, 100km to Brisbane.... more likely serving the Gold Coast as it is a tourist location, lots of high rise hotels & beaches. Has/had a good amount of business from Japan, depending on the routes BNE could be viewed as just providing additional #s.

Here in Denver, Pena Blvd that leads out to DIA from I-70 is almost the same distance as it is from SYD to my parents house on the other side of the CBD & the bridge. Maybe 2km or so difference. SYD overall has a very good location, I can fly into MEL and get a flight to SYD and be at my parents house quicker than flying into Newcastle and doing public transit down to Nth Sydney.

I just don't see people in Sydney wanting to travel that much further to save a few $$ on airfare when the additional travel costs will exceed the savings on the airfare every time. I would also be inclined to think that CityRail won't be going out of their way to reschedule trains based on the flights of one airline.

Now if the airline could possibly make an arrangement with CityRail for heavily discounted rail tickets, say $5 each way then it would change the cost factors, though again i see an issue with an A333 landing and all of them want a train to Sydney... those trains don't run all that frequently and even the 8 carriage intercities would be extremely cramped loaded up with all the bags. Let alone needing to accomidate regular full fare passengers. Standing room only for a 3 hour train ride. blergh!

Nice thought, but decidedly impractical for now.
 
DavidByrne
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:20 pm

Quoting Jbernie (Reply 10):
I just don't see people in Sydney wanting to travel that much further to save a few $$ on airfare when the additional travel costs will exceed the savings on the airfare every time. I would also be inclined to think that CityRail won't be going out of their way to reschedule trains based on the flights of one airline.

Did I correctly read suggestions from Air AsiaX a week or two ago that they might be offering fares to Europe eventually for around $1,200 (I presume, $A)? If so, there may well be budget travellers who would travel to Newcastle for the flight and regard it as "part of the experience". Not all travellers are desperate to get from A to B in the minimum time possible - I'd put myself in that category. Especially budget travellers, who are clearly prepared to endure some hardships in order to achieve sometimes questionable benefits.
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worldrider
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:42 am

Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 11):
Did I correctly read suggestions from Air AsiaX a week or two ago that they might be offering fares to Europe eventually for around $1,200 (I presume, $A)

1'200$ or even a$ are already regular prices, they better offer cheaper deals if they want to fill it up
 
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allrite
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:01 am

What about Canberra as an option instead of Newcastle? By car it's under 3 hours from Sydney, although it's 4 hours or so by infrequent train. You can get direct flights from many capitals. Maybe it doesn't have the same catchment as Newcastle but the local population is wealthier, probably more likely to travel overseas and there are quite a few students and government officials as well. The airport is already labelled an international port as well.
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melpax
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:09 am

Quoting Jbernie (Reply 10):
Any Melbourne folk advise on what the public transit is like from Melbourne to Avalon airport of if there is any? Or long term parking costs? Melbourne to Avalon appears to be only about an extra 40km over Melbourne to MEL.

There is a bus that goes from the CBD to Avalon,

http://www.avalonairport.com.au/
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DavidByrne
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:49 am

Quoting Worldrider (Reply 12):
Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 11):
Did I correctly read suggestions from Air AsiaX a week or two ago that they might be offering fares to Europe eventually for around $1,200 (I presume, $A)

1'200$ or even a$ are already regular prices, they better offer cheaper deals if they want to fill it up

I just Googled Air Asia X and its intentions with regard to Austrlaia, and note that they're clear that they see their bases there as being OOL, AVV, ADL and NTL, though there are some problems with NTL due to it being an Air Force etablishment.

I assumed that $A1,200 was return Australia to Europe - Air AsiaX don't muck about with their pricing. If they want to make a dollar at those fares (assuming my recollection is correct), they will have to cut every conceivable frill, including not landing at expensive airports. I can't find the reference to the $1,200 Europe fare, but I note they're talking about return fares to Malaysia for $A285 plus taxes, so $1,200 to Europe may even be on the high side.
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peh
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:46 pm

Quoting Worldrider (Reply 12):
1'200$ or even a$ are already regular prices, they better offer cheaper deals if they want to fill it up

Emirates is currently offering Sydney to Paris for $1685. So for $400 extra, you get entertainment, more space, unlimited food and drink and attentive service. And, of course, you don't have to spend three hours on a train before leaving and upon arrival back home.

I grew up in the Newcastle/Port Stephens area. I'm here to tell you that Williamtown airport is nowhere near public transport, whether it be bus or train. You'd either have to hire a car or catch a very expensive taxi to the nearest train station. It would actually be twYou'd then have to transfer trains in Broadmeadow for the final, three hour journey to Sydney.
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Fly2CHC
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RE: AirAsiaX-International Flights To Newcastle (NTL)

Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:24 am

This is what they have as a network map on their website:

http://www.airasia.com/site/my/en/pa...ae-c5d9c100-56ae2b88&reference=aax

Quite ambitious - not sure how long it will take them to get there.