: Low cost carrier AirAsia has targeted to bring in more than four million passengers to Langkawi over the next five years, in a move to cater its potential demands of traffic.
AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said to achieve the target, the airline is looking at more international routes to and from Langkawi including Jakarta (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Shenzen and Shanghai in China as well as Hong Kong.
“In 2015, we (AirAsia) flew in 1.6 million passengers for the Langkawi route.
“Our target is to bring in an additional three million passengers here with more additional routes in the coming five years,” said Fernandes in his speech during the inaugural flight arrival from Guangzhou, China to Langkawi celebration here on Sunday morning.
Our target is to bring in an additional three million passengers to Langkawi with more new routes to be introduced
Flight AK 2010 from Guangzhou landed at 10;05am on Sunday at Langkawi International Airport (LIA) with a healthy 92 percent flight load.
Najib accompanied by Tiong Lai and Mukhriz upon arriving at LIA to witness the arrival of AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Guangzhou to Langkawi. – Photo AstroAWANI / Malik Ridhwan
The airline’s second international flight arrival to Langkawi was greeted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and chief executives of AirAsia at the Lang Merah Complex in LIA.
Fernandes said the introduction of the new route makes Langkawi as its latest international hub in the region as announced in March during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition Airshow.
“By making Langkawi an international hub, we are confident we can boost the tourism traffic in this island.
“We have invested substantially to ensure this hub can accommodate and facilitate our projected traffic growth and achieve the goal of turning Langkawi into a regional LCC hub,” he said.
According to Fernandes, the Guangzhou-Langkawi route not only strengthens the airline's presence in the popular holiday island, but also further boosting its economy with potential investments from China.
He is optimistic that Langkawi will be one of the region's key tourism destinations with more international connectivity, and become a top choice for Chinese travellers very soon.
Najib receives a token from Tony Fernandes flanked by Tiong Lai, Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun and Mukhriz Mahathir. – Photo Astro AWANI / Malik Ridhwan
AirAsia currently holds a 60 per cent market share in Langkawi air traffic in operating direct flights to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore.
The airline recorded an average booking of above 80 percent for the commencement of the inaugural flight from Guangzhou, which indicates a boom in tourism for Langkawi especially from Chinese tourists.
To celebrate the occasion, AirAsia is offering an all-in-fate from as low as RM199 one-way between Langkawi and Guangzhou (to and fro) for bookings made from 25 January until 7 February 2016 for the travel period of 25 January to 2 May 2016.