SEPANG: The inaugural Air Arabia Flight G9 0921 from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur has touched down safely at the KL International Airport.
This marks the first time a low-cost carrier is connecting the country directly to the United Arab Emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council region.
Present to greet the arrival of the passengers yesterday morning was Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
“The flight couldn’t have come at a better time as we are promoting the country in the run-up to our Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign.
“This year, our target is to have 337,000 tourists from the West Asia region.
“I believe the launching of Air Arabia’s Sharjah-KL route will help increase tourist arrivals from this region,” he said.
Mohamaddin said the ministry would continue to boost air connectivity as part of VM2020.
Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof said there were plans to attract more airlines to the country.
“We are looking at attracting eight more airlines this year as part of the Joint International Tourism Development Programme,” he said.
Last year, Malaysia recorded RM3.1bil in tourist receipts from West Asia, a growth of 32.9% compared to the previous year.
As of March this year, tourist arrivals from West Asia countries stand at 65,202.
The seven-hour flight between Kuala Lumpur and Sharjah operates daily.
Sharjah is a neighbouring city of Dubai and the third largest emirate of the UAE.
Air Arabia is the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa.