Kuala Lumpur-based Batik Air Malaysia (formerly operating as Malindo Air) will add a new Kuala Lumpur-Perth-Auckland route from August.

Flights will be onboard Boeing 737 Max aircraft in a dual-class configuration seating 12 in 2-2 configured business class recliners and 150 passengers in standard economy across a 3-3 setup.

At more than six hours, Perth-Auckland will be one of the longest currently scheduled 737 Max routes. All in, accounting for on-the-ground time in Perth, the whole journey from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland will take almost 14 hours.

Perth Airport says the decision by Batik Air Malaysia to add Perth-Auckland flights, as well as additional Perth-Kuala Lumpur flights, will open up exciting new travel options for business and tourism travellers.

Batik Air Malaysia currently operates eight flights a week between Perth and Kuala Lumpur and four flights a week to Denpasar Bali using Boeing 737-800 and 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Sister airline Batik Air Indonesia operates daily between Perth and Denpasar Bali.

From August 24, Batik Air Malaysia will add a Perth-Auckland tag-on service, flying six times a week.

The airline competes on the route against Star Alliance member Air New Zealand, which currently offers daily flights between the cities.

Air New Zealand currently deploys subleased A330 aircraft on the Perth route, although the airline expects to bring back its own A321 neo and Boeing 787-9 widebody aircraft once they become available again.

Perth Airport acting CEO, Kate Holsgrove, says the announcement is great news for travellers.

“There is already strong business and tourism travel between Perth and Kuala Lumpur and adding Auckland flights will further stimulate market demand. We know that New Zealand is a hugely popular destination for Western Australians travellers and with a large ex-pat Kiwi population living here, Perth is a natural destination for travellers from New Zealand,” said Holsgrove.

Batik Air wants to develop Perth into its Australian hub.

“We are delighted to finally expand our footprint to Auckland as part of our network growth aspiration as well as committing our promise to enable Perth as our next hub outside Kuala Lumpur. With the rapid hike of global travel demand, we can assure competitive fares and convenient access across four nations. I trust this would not only benefit leisure travels but also business travels alike with affordable fares for exceptional services,” said Batik Air group strategy director, Chandran Rama Muthy.

Separately, Indonesia AirAsia last week launched a four-weekly Jakarta-Perth service, complementing its daily Denpasar-Perth flights.

Furthermore, Singapore Airlines recently confirmed that it would increase its Singapore-Perth route from three times a day currently to 25-weekly from November.

From November 24, SIA will launch four additional A350-900 flights per week. They will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Friday’s and Sundays.