13 Mar 2012

AirAsia X passengers hit in pocket

6:27 pm on 13 March 2012

Customers of the airline AirAsia X have been left out of pocket after the airline announced it was stopping all flights to and from New Zealand.

AirAsia X says in the year since it launched four flights a week between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur, the cost of aviation fuel has risen by 30%, making the route unprofitable.

While AirAsia X is offering replacement flights from Sydney to the Malaysian capital, passengers will have to pay their own way as far as Sydney.

Aric Thorn says he and his partner will now have to pay an extra $1000 to get to Kuala Lumpur.

He says getting a refund is not an option because he has already booked his annual leave.

He says he is surprised the airline is pulling out of New Zealand after just one year.

AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani says those with travel insurance should not have to pay extra.

He says bad experiences in the past in finding replacement flights for passengers on other airlines meant the airline was unable to help stranded customers out this time.