AirAsia will become the first international airline to operate at Avalon Airport after the Victorian hub secured the low cost carrier for its first overseas services.
Although the airport still needs to build an international terminal with immigration and customs, Avalon and AirAsia believe the new services could be operational by the end of 2018, The Age reports.
According to the paper, the airport and Malaysian carrier will officially make the announcement on Sunday, in a move that will see AirAsia transfer its twice-daily service between Tullamarine and Kuala Lumpur to Avalon.
In 2015, the federal government granted Avalon permission to build an international terminal or expand its existing facilities, and the airport also has approval to build new runways and offer unrestricted access to global carriers.
The Linfox-owned facility will receive funding for the project from the Victorian and federal governments.
Located around 50 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, the airport aims to lure other international airlines after AirAsia.
Avalon currently welcomes some 500,000 passengers a year who travel exclusively with Jetstar, but it hopes to grow domestic passenger numbers to 7.25 million annually by 2031, The Age reports.
With the announcement, Melbourne will best Sydney in the race to have a second operational international airport.
In other airport news, Brisbane Airport has signed an agreement with TravelbyBit Australia to accept payments by Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, which according to the UK Telegraph makes BNE the first airport in the world to trade in cryptocurrency.
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.