MALAYSIAN agents predict the opening of the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore route to low-cost carriers from Singapore and Malaysia, will have a spill over effect on other tourist destinations in Malaysia such as the southern state of Johor, which is closest to the Lion City.
To save cost, many leisure tourists now travel by road, going through Johor, to get to either city. Johor-based inbound agents are concerned this development would see travellers bypassing the state altogether.
But their outbound counterparts, such as Johor-based New Asia Holiday Tours & Travel, general manager, Mr Raaj Navaratnaa, said he saw his business as a ticketing consultant and outbound agent selling tour programmes ex-Singapore growing as more Malaysians choose to travel to south to take connecting flights elsewhere as there are more airlines and destination choices at competitive rates from Singapore.
For now, the KL-Singapore route will be open from February 1, 2008, and limited to four daily flights - two from either side. But both countries have agreed to fully liberalise access between the two cities, from December 1 next year. This will allow carriers from both countries, the flexibility to operate unlimited number of flights on the route.
Last month, the Malaysian Cabinet gave AirAsia the nod to fly the lucrative route, provided the Singapore government agreed. The Singapore counterpart that will take on the route is widely expected to be Tiger Airways.
Source : TTG
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