Australians will soon have more choice for flights to Thailand, with Thai AirAsia X introducing new services to connect Melbourne and Bangkok.

Flights will commence on 1 December ahead of the summer holidays, with plans to initially operate three times a week. It is the first time the low-cost carrier will fly between the two cities, a move that will drive tourism for both destinations and increase connectivity.

Flights are on sale from today, with one-way economy fares to Bangkok starting from $299 from Melbourne and from $1,199 on a premium flatbed.

The announcement follows sister company AirAsia X’s decision to return to Melbourne, with flights between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne scheduled to resume in November.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos said that the new service provides travellers with more options and, as of December, increases the total number of return services between Melbourne and Asian cities to more than 420 each week.

“We are thrilled to welcome Thai AirAsia X to the Melbourne Airport family. Thailand is a favourite destination of Australians, and we expect these new direct services will be popular, particularly among leisure travellers keen to get back to Southeast Asia to experience the country’s incredible food, beaches and culture,” he said.

“This new route will also drive tourism into Victoria and support a growing Thai international student market. Prior to the pandemic, Thailand was one of the state’s top 10 international student source markets and an important part of our economy.

“International travel is ramping up strongly, and we are back to almost 60 per cent of pre-Covid international traveller numbers. With confidence in travelling increasing and the introduction of new services such as this connection to Bangkok, we are really pleased with the outlook for international travel.”

Acting Chief Executive Officer of Thai AirAsia X Tassapon Bijleveld said that Thailand and Australia have maintained strong relations for over 70 years, and Australia is among the top three educational destinations for Thai students as well as a leading travel destination for Thai tourists.

“Thai AirAsia X is very excited to be adding Melbourne as a key destination in Australia this year. It is one of our next key growth markets, with much to offer in terms of strong economy, tourism and education, making it a prime addition to Thai AirAsia X’s growing network.

“Thais love Australia and Australians love Thailand and we are confident that these new and direct services will prove popular. Thai AirAsia X is fully ready to serve these direct flights between Bangkok and Australia, be it for leisure, business or education.”