Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat announced yesterday that the Government had given approval to the low-cost carrier to operate the route.
He said the move would boost tourism and the economy in Langkawi.
“We will leave it to AirAsia to assess the situation and decide on the frequency of flights,” he told reporters after a dialogue with Chinese non-governmental organisations yesterday.
On March 7, 15 Chinese associations in Langkawi called on the Government to allow AirAsia to fly direct between the two destinations to help the resort island weather the current economic storm.
Langkawi MCA division chief Datuk Chen Liau Weng, who made the appeal to Ong, said direct flights were crucial as he claimed that the Kedah government had not been promoting tourism.
In Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes was elated that the airline had been voted the world’s best low-cost carrier by British-based consultancy group Skytrax.
He said the award was special as it had put a Malaysian brand on the world aviation map again.
“We have won numerous awards but this one is very special. Even though AirAsia is a low-cost carrier, it has high quality products.
“AirAsia can be an inspiration to other Malaysian companies that they, too, can excel in anything and be the best on the world,” Fernandes said yesterday.
Skytrax presented the award to AirAsia during the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2009 in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month.
The award was conferred based on the results of the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax, conducted between August 2008 and March this year from respondents of diverse nationalities.
“We are very honoured to triumph over other low-cost carriers like Ryanair, EasyJet and Southwest Airlines,” he said.
AirAsia stood out based on the good performances of its cabin crew, pilots and ground staff.
Source : STAR
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