Wednesday August 29, 2012
Two more airlines to fly into Malaysia
By B.K. SIDHU
PETALING JAYA: At least two more airlines Ethiopian Airlines and Zest Air are expected to fly into Malaysia this year after four made their debut earlier this year.
The four are Bangkok Airways, Philippines' Airphil Express, Indonesia's Mandala Airlines and AirAsia Philippines, and with the latter three flew into the LCCT terminal while Bangkok Airways to KL International Airport.
It is learnt that both the carriers Ethiopian Airlines and Zest Air are planning to commence flights sometime in October.
Ethiopian is planning thrice-weekly flights to KL International Airport on Oct 31 via Bangkok while Zest is looking at flying in from Manila on Oct 22.
A report quoting Ethiopian Airlines chief executive officer Tewolde Gebremariam said that “as the fastest growing airline in Africa, Ethiopian is pleased to offer the opportunity to business people as well as tourists to explore KL. Ethiopian will be the first East African carrier to fly to KL, connecting Africa to the Asia region and in turn strengthening the tourism and trade ties between the peoples of Africa and Asia.
“The connectivity will be via its hub at Addis Ababa, which provides connections to and from major African cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Entebbe, Harare and Khartoum,” the report said.
KL will be Ethiopian 70th international destination and 18th in the Middle East and Asia.
Zest Air on the other hand is the low-cost carrier from the Philippines and it has yet to decide whether it will fly into KLIA or LCCT. It will also be the second low-cost carrier after Airphill Express from the Philippines to fly into KLIA this year, although Cebu Pacific has been plying the KL-Manila route for sometime now.
Mandala Airlines is from Jakarta and began plying the Jakarta-KL route May this year. Airphil flies twice weekly to the LCCT.
There are around 60 airlines currently operating in Malaysia and the airport operator's, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), target is to attract at least five new airlines to operate out of KLIA every year.
MAHB's passenger traffic grew 4.2%, with 32.5 million passing through its 39 airports nationwide, while both international and domestic passenger movement registered a moderate growth of 5% and 3.5% respectively. It expects a year-end passenger growth target of 6% to 7% and it is “cautiously optimistic” of meeting the target set.