KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians will be able to experience seamless flights to Hokkaido from December following the bold effort by a tour company to charter direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to the exotic island in Japan.
The flights will begin on Dec 13 utilising a A330-300 aircraft with a 288-passenger capacity.
The journey takes only eight hours compared with the long hours required when one transits in Narita or Haneda airport.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) haj and charter department head Capt Nik Ahmad Huzlan Nik Hussain said such direct flights removed a lot of risks and travel time.
He added that it was the first time MAS had struck a deal with a local company for chartered flights to Hokkaido.
This kind of flights, he added, was risky business but could be profitable if companies did a good job.
“Apple Vacations & Conventions is a brave operator. The contract is worth more than RM2mil.
“MAS is interested in flying to more exotic places and are open to working with operators who are keen on chartering flights to such places,” he said after signing an agreement on charter flights to Hokkaido with Apple group managing director Datuk Desmond Lee yesterday.
Lee said the direct flights to Hokkaido saved time and money by 20% compared with the current flights where passengers had to transit, incurring additional costs for lodging, food and transportation.
There would be 1,200 seats for three return flights from KL International Airport to Sapporo, and 10% of the seats had been taken up, he said.