Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Photos/texts courtesy Communications, Air Asia X, 21st February 2011.
Well this is not April's Fool.
But on 1st April, 2011 Malaysia's long haul, low fare AirAsia X will launch its first flight into Christchurch, New Zealand, with non-stop services, four times a week from Kuala Lumpur.
Christchurch is the tourism gateway to New Zealand’s South Island and beyond including Antartica, for travelers from Kuala Lumpur and provides them with an option to travel on the famous Kangaroo route between Europe, Malaysia and New Zealand/Australia.
And to get a taste of Antartica, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, Azran Osman-Rani himself recently came back from an amazing venture in the South Pole which is the coldest place in the world!!!
In Antartica, he had the opportunity to visit the American and New Zealand research bases at McMurdo and Scott Base to experience the unique climate and geology of the coldest, driest and windiest continent and learn about the fascinating research projects being undertaken there.
Azran flew to Antarctica on a five-hour flight from the United States Antarctic Program Passenger Terminal in Christchurch, New Zealand and landed at the Pegasus Runway, an airstrip on an ice shelf at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica; where he stayed for two days at the Scott Base facility together with the scientists and field support services teams.
Antarctica New Zealand has also hosted Malaysian scientists conducting research on the Ice.
“We are willing to go to the ends of Earth in search of adventure-that is our X-Factor at AirAsia X,” said Azran Osman-Rani.
“This trip captures the essence of our pioneering X-ploratory spirit of pushing boundaries and breaking conventions. There is no place that is too cold or too remote to stop us from championing low fares and exciting travels and adventures. We are optimistic about our first flight into Christchurch, New Zealand in April as Christchurch is not only a beautiful place to travel but close to many adventurous destinations such as the fiords, glaciers and mountains of the South Island where there are many thrilling activities to experience. We are pleased with our encouraging 80% passenger loads since we announced open for sale in December 2010, and believe the demand will indeed increase once we start operations,” he added.
Besides touring the research base and facilities, including the Meridian Energy Wind Turbine farm, Azran, who is an outdoor adrenaline-junkie, grabbed at the opportunity to go along several hikes across the terrain, climbed several hills including the famed Castle Rock and Observatory Hill, as well as taking part in cross-country Nordic skiing across the ice-in below freezing temperatures that ranged from -10 to -35 degrees Celsius in the Southern Summer. His adventure in Antarctica also gave him the opportunity to come close to see the native Antarctic residents-Emperor penguins and Weddel seals, although he was careful to stay at least 5 metres away from the wildlife, as required under the Antarctic conservation rules.
All the Best Air Asia, Air Asia X and Malaysia!!
Aerial view of Antartica, taken abroad an Airbus A380.
Antartica is the Earth southernmost continent of which 98% of its 5.4 million square miles are covered in ice.
Antartica is colder than Arctic, the record lowest ever temperature recorded was a whopping minus 89 Celcius in 1983!!!!