Penang's first VTL flight from Singapore delayed until 6.40pm Wednesday (March 16)

GEORGE TOWN: The first flight bringing in passengers from Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane by Air (VTL-Air) at Penang International Airport will be delayed.

AirAsia's AK1730 flight, which was supposed to arrive from Singapore at 1.15pm on Wednesday (March 16) will now arrive at 6.40pm.

AirAsia government relations manager (northern region) Kenneth Tan said the change of arrival time was because of operational considerations.

"It is only the operational requirement of the flight, no other reason," he said when contacted.

Tan, however, said another flight – Singapore Airlines' SQ0138 – will arrive as scheduled at 7pm.

On Tuesday (March 15), state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said Penang would welcome the two flights from Singapore on the first day of the VTL-Air on Wednesday.

He said the arrivals were expected to give a significant boost to Penang's hospitality sector, and the VTL scheme played a pivotal role in the resumption of international tourism as it would serve as a benchmark for future travel activities.

The VTL initiative allows fully-vaccinated travellers between two destinations to arrive without having to undergo mandatory quarantine.

The VTL was initiated between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Nov 29 and as of Feb 28, it has served 82,906 passengers from Singapore.

In the past, SIngapore was Penang's largest tourism market, with about 70% of tourists visiting the state coming from the island republic.

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