On 29 October 2010 Christchurch Airport (CHC) announced that it has signed a deal that will see Malaysian airline AirAsia X (D7) commence operations from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to New Zealand (subject to regulatory approvals). Whether this new direct route will be non stop or via Australia has yet to be announced. The Wings Down Under blog has a post on the story dated 29 October 2010.
New Zealand has a 1998 bilateral 'open skies' air services agreement with Malaysia (see media statement).
There has been speculation that the Malaysia government would not permit AirAsia X to compete directly with the Malaysia Airlines (MH) operations to Auckland (AKL). Singapore Airlines (SQ) already operates from South East Asia to Christchurch and is about to face competition to its Singapore-Auckland non-stop operations from Jetstar Asia (3K)(again subject to regulatory approvals)(see previous post).
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