IPOH: Direct flights to Guangzhou in China from Ipoh will start in October, says Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
The Perak Mentri Besar said this was possible after a memorandum of understanding was signed between two private entities, Scanda Sky and Amal by Malaysia Airlines (the national carrier's special charter service).
"This is historic for Perak and the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, because at last our efforts to get the direct flights have materialised.
"This is an effort by the private sector as well as state Tourism committee chairman Tan Kar Hing.
"We hope this route will be as popular as the current Ipoh-Singapore route," he told reporters after witnessing the MoU signing ceremony held at a hotel here Tuesday (May 7).
The signatories were Amal chief executive officer Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin and Scanda Sky's executive chairman Tengku Faizwa Tengku Razif.
Ahmad Faizal said to ensure Perak received tourists from the southern part of China, Ipoh would be the main gateway when the flights resume.
Tan said the inaugural flight of three times a week is expected to start in early October.
He said the flight route would be from Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh-Guangzhou.
"A Boeing 737 with a capacity of between 150 to 180 passengers will be used, and to sustain the route, there needs to be at least an 80% load factor.
"The pricing is not fixed yet, but just like other airlines, there will be seasonal and hot seat prices available as well," he added.
Tan said several packages for tourists from Guangzhou would be available when they arrive in Ipoh.
"Theme parks and hotels will be roped in, and more working trips will be held in China to promote Perak," he added.