Airline AirAsia X has been asked to abolish advertising that promotes its overseas flights as being better value than travelling to South Australian tourism destinations.
In advertising on the back of public buses, the airline promoted flights to Kuala Lumpur as cheaper than the cost of a weekend at Kangaroo Island.
South Australia’s opposition leader Steven Marshall said the advertising push could hurt local tourism, adding that the ads should not have been released, Prime7 reported.
"Taking a swipe at our great tourist attractions in South Australia is completely unacceptable when they're advertising on the back of state assets, that is state government buses," he said.
"Our tourism operators are doing it tough at the moment. There's no doubt about it. It's a slow market.
"We would like to see a clause put in the state government contract when they're using state government assets like our state buses that they won't do anything that is, you know, an outright attack on our South Australian products.
"It seems an incredible situation where the State Government is spending millions of dollars each year promoting our tourism attractions only to then spoil it all by allowing other people to take a swipe at our great tourist attractions here in South Australia"
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the government approached the airline about the ads as soon as they were discovered.
Bignell said the AirAsia X has agreed to remove them.
"Someone saw them on the back of a bus, alerted us to it and we made contact straight away so it's all in hand and they're taking the ads down already," he said.
"They could see our point of view, we said 'Look it's not really in the spirit of how we want to work with AirAsia X.'
"We don't actually get involved in helping airlines get people to leave South Australia. That's not in our interest."
AirAsia X will begin flights out of Adelaide in October.