IPOH: AirAsia made its maiden direct flight from Singapore to Ipoh on Monday (Dec 3).
The flight carrying 166 passengers departed from Singapore Changi Airport at 11.40am and arrived at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh at 1pm.
On arrival, passengers were greeted by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Also present were state Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing, state Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Paul Yong Choo Kiong, Tourism Perak chief executive officer Zuraida Md Taib and AirAsia chief executive officer Riad Asmat.
Ahmad Faizal said he was pleased to welcome passengers and hoped that the direct flights will lure more international tourists to Ipoh.
“We strongly believe this service will boost the number of tourists in Perak. As such, we are working hard to make sure all the facilities are in good condition to welcome tourists to the state,” said Ahmad Faizal during a press conference.
AirAsia will be flying four times weekly between Singapore and Ipoh.
“Since the launch of our Johor Baru – Ipoh route in October, we have flown close to 10, 000 guests in and out of Ipoh, including from China, Indonesia, India and Singapore.
“This new Singapore service builds on our efforts to expand our Ipoh network, and hope it will contribute to increasing tourist traffic in Ipoh as well as Perak,” says Riad.
Riad added that starting from February next year, AirAsia will increase its Johor to Ipoh routes to seven times a week.
On another matter, Ahmad Faizal said the state airport will undergo several upgrades including extending the airport runway.
“We are going to extend the runway to 250m each, making the runaway 2.5km long.
“We have only used about 50% of the airport capacity and the state has received several suggestions from private companies to add more nearby attractions to the airport,” said Ahmad Faizal.