Wyndham council has welcomed the news that international flights will soon be operating from Avalon Airport.
AirAsia has announced that it will move its operations from Tullamarine to Avalon later this year, although the exact date is yet to be confirmed.
AirAsia X Malaysia is set to operate two flights a day between Avalon and Kuala Lumpur.
Wyndham mayor Peter Maynard said the AirAsia move would be “a major catalyst” for investment, jobs growth and tourism in the region.
“The development of Avalon Airport will encourage high-density employment industries to locate in Wyndham, as well as growing the region’s visitor economy,” he said.
At the weekend, the state government released a statement that said that more than 200 jobs would be created at Avalon thanks to the international service, which is expected to handle up to 220,000 international passengers a year.
The government said construction of an international terminal would create an additional 33 jobs. Once complete, the terminal would be capable of handling 14 tonnes of Victorian fresh produce every day, cementing Victoria’s position as a food export hub.
Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll said the government would work with Avalon Airport to open up job opportunities for former auto industry workers.
AirAsia X Malaysia chief executive Benyamin Ismail said that the company was proud to be the first airline to operate international flights at Avalon Airport.
“Melbourne and Victoria are important markets to us,” he said. “This new service … will provide a significant boost to business and tourism.”
Avalon Airport chief executive Justin Giddings said the agreement between Avalon, which is owned by Linfox, and AirAsia was for 10 years.