Direct Adelaide-Kuala Lumpur flights have started by international airline AirAsia X.

More than 300 passengers were on the first Airbus A330 flight from Kuala Lumpur when it touched down in Adelaide on Thursday morning, before the aircraft was due for a late morning return to Malaysia.

There are to be four return flights each week between the two cities.

South Australian Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said more than 10,000 Malaysian and Chinese travellers already had booked to fly to SA and the new travel route was expected to add $30 million annually to the state's economy.

"It just opens a whole new market for us and with Adelaide this week being named one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2014 (by Lonely Planet), we're looking for an even bigger boost in ticket numbers for people coming from Asia to Adelaide," he said.

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said he expected strong support for the Adelaide service.

"We see a strong student market from Asia as well as an increase in travel segments from destinations such as Japan and Korea which will boost traffic into the city," he said.

 

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