SEPANG: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) aims to attract 10 new airlines both premium and low-cost carriers (LCCs) to Malaysia, especially to its five main airports in 2019.
The airports are the KL International Airport (KLIA), KLIA2, Penang International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching International Airport, according to MAHB general manager for Airline Marketing Mohd Sallauddin Mat Sah.
“We are going to be very focused next year and will continue to pursue many more airlines,” he told reporters after welcoming Citilink Indonesia’s inaugural flight into KLIA yesterday.
Mohd Sallauddin said the potential airlines might come from China, Middle Eastern countries and the Asian region.
He said Malaysia would be able to attract many foreign airlines due to its variety of tourism attractions and accessibility as some LCCs found it easy for a startup.
As for 2018, he said MAHB attracted 13 airlines, of which 11 had already commenced operations while another two by year-end.
Meanwhile, the LCC Citilink Indonesia's aircraft was given a salute upon landing at KLIA following an inaugural flight from Banyuwangi, the eastern-most regency of East Java, an area rich in ecotourism and nature-based tourism.
MAHB is also scheduled to welcome the first flight from TUI Airways (formerly known as Thomson Airways) from Birmingham at the Langkawi International Airport today.
Besides Birmingham, Tui offers long-haul chartered services from two other United Kingdom airports – Manchester and Gatwick – to Langkawi with three fortnightly flights on the 797 Dreamliner.
Meanwhile, the Royal Brunei Airlines will be commencing its Bandar Seri Begawan-Kuching route on Dec 28 with two flights a week.
Mohd Sallauddin said in total, MAHB added 50 new international routes to its list this year, while international frequencies per week from both local and foreign carriers increased by 458 as of October 2018.
“This year seems to be a very productive year for Malaysia Airports in terms of the development of network connectivity, supported by better (travel) demand, promising passenger load and intensive local tourism initiatives from industry players,” he said. – Bernama