Kia ora tatou (Hello everyone in Maori language)..I have always dreamt of traveling to New Zealand, and had I been born rich, I would have gotten on the next available flight there...
Unfortunately, that is not the case, because much as I love traveling, I have to do it on a shoestring budget, especially when I have a family to maintain, and when cost of living escalates... I can hardly fork out money for a 5 figure trip... I am sure many of you can relate to me...especially when we are just earning barely enough to make ends meet...
But well, I got great news... traveling to New Zealand has become more affordable and reachable... because my favorite airline AirAsia X has just relaunched this route !! Now isn't this just awesome!!! Note to self: Stalk www.airasia.com for cheap fares to go to Auckland...
New Zealand, known as Aotearoa in the native Māori tongue which means the land of the long white cloud, is legendary for its spectacular natural sceneries and distinctive Māori culture. Spreading across 270,534 km2, the country has two main Islands simply known as the North and South Island.
The City of Sails – Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city located at the North Island with a huge range of attractions, such as the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere – Sky Tower, the magnificent volcanic crater at Mount Eden, the beautiful Auckland Domain Park that houses Auckland War Memorial Museum, and many more attractions such as the Viaduct Harbour, Rangitoto Island and others.
Guests can also self-drive to the scenic Northland chasing sands at the Ninety Mile beach and visit Cape Reinga – the Northern tip of New Zealand; or drive down to Matamata for the Hobbiton Movie Set – one of the filming location for The Lord of The Rings Trilogies, both only within hours of drive away from Auckland city.
Now everyone can fly to Auckland city and discover the city’s hidden gems!!! AirAsia X, the leading long-haul, low-fare affiliate of the AirAsia Group commences its operations into Auckland, New Zealand from Kuala Lumpur via Gold Coast, Australia. The daily flights scheduled to commence operations on 22 March 2016 will strengthen the airline’s connectivity between Asia, Australia and the North Island of New Zealand.
Yours truly as part of the AABC member was at the Glasshouse yesterday to witness the very interesting ceremony involving the Māori people who were exclusively brought all the way from New Zealand for this event.
It was definitely interesting, and well, it was my very first time getting to witness a powhiri (formal welcome) at a marae (Māori meeting grounds) that began with a wero (challenge). The Māori warriors from the tangata whenua (hosts) challenged the manuhiri (guests), in this case Benyamin Ismail, the CEO of AirAsia X.
The Māori warrior did look quite intimidating and somewhat threatening with his 'spear' (taiaha) and war-like dance . He then laid down a token (the small wooden box) that Benyamin Ismail picked up to show he come in peace.
The performance was quite intimidating to many but nevertheless I was very fascinated by it, as I am sure many of those present were...
Once the token was accepted, the Māori warriors then welcomed their manuhiri (guests) with a traditional Māori welcome is called a powhiri which involves a hongi - a greeting that involves touching noses which is somewhat similar to a kiss
Anyway, the flights to Auckland was officially launched by His Excellency Dr. John Subritzky, New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia, in the company of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia and Benyamin Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X Berhad.
And.... drumroll......To celebrate the announcement of the new route, AirAsia X is offering promotional all-in-fares from as low as RM499* one way on economy seats and from as low as RM1499* one way on the award-winning Premium Flatbed seats.
These promotional fares are available for booking online starting13 until 24 January 2016 for the travel period from 22 March until 5 February 2017.
All promotional fares can be booked online at airasia.com as well as via AirAsia’s mobile apps on iPhone and Android services, and also AirAsia’s mobile site at mobile.airasia.com.
Benyamin Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X Berhad says, “New Zealand is a world class destination that has always had a special place in our heart. We are excited to be back in this beautiful country to launch this service, allowing seamless connection for our guests from all over Asia to Auckland city. Similarly, New Zealanders will now have more flight options to Gold Coast as well as access to all the exciting destinations across our extensive flight network in Asia through the Kuala Lumpur hub. We are confident that our highly competitive fares will attract many new guests from the region, creating higher travel demand and in turn boosting tourism traffic for all sectors.”
“Australia has always been a key market for us; this new route from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland via Gold Coast signifies our commitment to developing flight connectivity in the region and our continuous effort to expand our operations. We have all the confidence that this new route will thrive, riding on the success we achieved from our other Australian routes.”
“At AirAsia X, our aim is to continue building an extensive list of exciting destinations to our guests and the introduction of this new route is in line with our turnaround initiatives that we believe will bring positive contribution to the bottom line,” concluded Benyamin.
His Excellency Dr. John Subritzky, New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia says, “I am really happy to see another major airline like AirAsia X making its entry into New Zealand, offering all Kiwis competitive fares to visit Asia – and the broader Southeast Asia region - through the airline’s extensive flight network. I look forward to seeing a higher number of tourists visit New Zealand as a result of the new daily flights into Auckland, boosting our tourism sector and strengthening economic growth.”
So there you have it, we can now travel from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland, New Zealand with a quick stopover in Gold Coast, Australia. You do not need an Australia visa for this stopover!! Malaysians can travel visa-free to New Zealand for up to 3 months, making traveling for all Malaysian guests a breeze.
Guests can also make use of the Fly-Thru option to connect seamlessly to Auckland from other cities within AirAsia group’s extensive flight network; or the Multi-City option to spend a few days on the stopover in Gold Coast before travelling onward to Auckland, allowing even more flexibility to your travel plan.
AirAsia X was awarded the "World's Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin" and "Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat" at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards for three consecutive years from 2013 – 2015. The Premium Flatbed seats on AirAsia X's flights feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium Flatbed guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including unlimited flight change, Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, immigration fast track at selected airports, 40kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and drinks with Pillow and Duvet.
Keep updated with AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities via Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).
*Promotional all-in-fares quoted are for one-way travel only inclusive of taxes. Terms and conditions apply.
Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) – Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) via Gold Coast, Australia (OOL)
Note: All time depicted are local time at respective destinations.
|Yours truly could not resist a photo opportunity with the Māori warriors here...|
New Zealand pictures were taken and credit goes to www.estero.co.nz and newzealand.com for decorative purposes.