Thursday, March 06, 2008

Air Asia to fly to Jakarta from Penang

Beginning March 30, Air Asia will start flying to Jakarta and Medan in Indonesia from Penang, its second and third international flights respectively from the island after Bangkok.

Air Asia Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Tony Fernandes announced the new routes today as well as the company’s intention to gain rights to fly from Penang to China, Singapore and India after Penang builds a low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT).

“Penang has been on the tourist route-map for decades. And we are confident that the state tourism board would help us promote this route. We would be investing around RM250 million in the next two years,” Tony told a press conference at the Penang International Airport today.

He also added that the airline company planned to make Penang its fourth and final hub within the country once it has a LCCT airport.

Meanwhile, Air Asia Indonesian Marketing and Distribution Director Widijastoro Nugroho said Indonesians were very interested in medical tourism.
Thus, it has become the intention of Air Asia to boost medical tourism by ensuring Indonesians visit Penang, he said.

“We have done our calculations and by far, Penang has some of the best infrastructures and products for medical tourism within Southeast Asia. It has a great atmosphere, good medical facilities, great hotels and let’s not forget the superb food,” said Widijastoro.

Penang state exco for Tourism, Development and Environment Teng Chang Yeow meanwhile said that the new routes and Air Asia’s plans for the near future would open a new chapter in Penang’s tourism.

“Greater air accessibility makes travelling easy, cheap and convenient. The Penang Tourism Action Council fully supports Air Asia and we will help promote them. We have already approved the land for the LCCT but now it lies in the hands of the other government agencies such as the Transport Department,” said Teng.

Source : NST
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