TRAVELLING to Vietnam is now much easier for Penangites as there will be direct flights to and from Ho Chi Minh City by AirAsia.
AirAsia has welcomed its inaugural flight from the city to the Penang International Airport.
Accountant Dung Nguyen, from Vietnam, who was on the flight, said it was his second time to Penang.
“I love the food and culture here and told myself I had to come back.
“The last time I came, I had to take a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur.
“This new route will make travelling to Penang so much easier for me,” said the 30-year-old, adding that he would now be able to visit Penang island more often.
Filipino chefs John Cabildo, 32, and Roberto Pasta, 36, who are based in Dubai and are on a world tour, said they had read so much about Penang and wanted to visit the island on their Asian leg of the tour.
“We are honoured to be part of the inaugural flight,” said Cabildo.
The passengers on board the inaugural flight which arrived in Penang on Monday were greeted with goodie bags by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
AirAsia Berhad chief executive officer Aireen Omar said this was their sixth international route from Penang.
She said the seventh route from Yangon, Myanmar, would begin in March.
“We hope these routes will promote more travel and trade between both Asean cities.
“We have flown 15 million passengers since 2010 into Penang and hope to increase this number in the years to come,” she said.
Lim praised the airline for adding new direct flights to and from Penang.
“Tourism continues to be a major contributor to Penang’s growth.
“We are glad that AirAsia sees the value in providing direct connectivity between more Asean cities and Penang,” he said.
AirAsia is offering promotional all-in-fares from RM99++ one-way from Penang to Ho Chi Minh City in conjunction with the inaugural flight celebration.
The fares are available for booking on airasia.com from now until Feb 7, and valid for the travel period from now to Nov 24.