Monday, May 14, 2007

AirAsia to do KL-Vientiane flights after 10 years

Kuala Lumpur and Vientiane will resume direct air links after almost 10 years. Beginning July, AirAsia will fly direct to the capital of Laos.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the resumption of direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Vientiane was critical in enhancing bilateral and economic cooperation.

“We believe that tourism products of both countries need to be given a further push in promotional efforts,” he told reporters yesterday after co-chairing the third Joint Commission meeting between Laos and Malaysia with his Laotian counterpart Dr Thongloun Sisoulith.

Malaysia Airlines introduced direct flights between the two cities in 1996 but stopped plying the route in 1998 due to low passenger load and the Asian financial crisis then.

Malaysia is Laos’ ninth largest trading partner and trade had increased from US$19mil (RM64.7mil) in 2005 to US$58mil (RM197.5mil) last year.

Syed Hamid also said Malaysia would be helping Laos explore the possibility of starting a rubber plantation sector there as oil palm did not do well due to weather and soil conditions.

“Both countries are also working out details to exchange plots of land to set up embassies in Putrajaya and Vientiane respectively,” he said.

Source : STAR
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