Malacca: The state will receive direct charter flights from Haikou city in Hainan province, China to the Malacca International Airport (LTAM) in Batu Berendam here if the proposal works out.
It is expected to kick off by the first quarter of next year.
The flights using jet aircraft will use LTAM as its regional hub.
State exco for Transport, Project Rehabilitation and International Trade Datuk Lim Ban Hong said that the inaugural flight from Haikou was expected to commence by April next year.
“We are still in the midst of discussing with several airlines in Hainan, which have shown a positive reaction to fly here,” he said before the Hyatt Palace Hotel and service apartment groundbreaking ceremony at Pulau Melaka on Sunday night.
Lim said the government’s plan was to boost the tourism sector by focusing on the arrival of tourists.
“It is also in line with the Federal Government’s objective to attract eight million tourists from China within the next five years,” he said.
Lim said the direct charter flights would also provide accommodation and tour packages to attractive destinations within the country through promotions by travel agencies.
LTAM is also expected to see more new air routes over the next few years.
The new destinations are Ghuangzou in China and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.
Lim said the government was still sourcing for new routes within this region as part of the plan to expand LTAM’s value as an international air hub.
He said the government was also working on the possibility of offering direct flights from Malacca to historical sites such as Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Borobodur (Indonesia) as well as Laos.
“Malacca is also a Unesco heritage zone and we are keen to link with other historic cities and offer packaged tours to history buffs.
“This will be possible with the availability of direct flights,” he added.