MAHB working to draw more airlines to Malaysia

Travellers check their flight schedules at KLIA in Sepang. Airport operator MAHB says there has been an increase in air traffic to Malaysia thanks to its ongoing efforts. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The country’s main airport operator is on a campaign to attract more airlines into the country for Visit Malaysia 2020.

Speaking to FMT, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) group CEO Raja Azmi Nazuddin said the company was now aiming to draw nine airlines to its airports to add to several that started flying into the country this year.

He did not name the nine, but said MAHB was encouraged that Air Busan, Batik Air, Air Arabia, Scoot, Qatar Airways, and Royal Brunei had begun landing in the country.

“These airlines came in a very big way,” he said. “The frequency of their flights ranges from three times a week to daily.

“There is a lot of interest in Malaysia, not just for tourism but also for business, education, and health.

“We are delighted to have facilitated this increase in air traffic to the country through our various efforts.”

He also mentioned the introduction of new routes by Indigo, Citilink, AirAsia Thailand and Philippines Airlines and the increase in flight frequencies from India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Indigo alone, he noted, was now flying into Sepang 21 times a week.

He said MAHB was also working with several airlines already flying into the country to add 16 routes, particularly to all five of its international airports.

He claimed that the company had “poured in millions” to help in the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, adding that RM5 million had been set aside for a campaign to promote Langkawi as a tourist destination.

The RM5 million would be made available to airlines, tour operators, travel agents. marketing companies and others in the tourism trade, he said.

Another of MAHB’s initiatives, he added, was the Joint International Tourism Development Programme, which saw the company and Tourism Malaysia contributing RM10 million each to promote Malaysia.