19 November 2015
Malindo Air's inaugural flight to Perth, took off Thursday, signalling increased opportunities in the tourism sector between Malaysia and Australia's sunniest capital as well as enhancing trade and investment linkages.
The Boeing 737 Flight OD151, carrying 180 passengers, took wing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) at 9.15 am and set the stage for a frequency of 11 weekly flights, that promises to lure more Malaysians to travel to Western Australia.
Among those on the maiden flight were Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Aziz Kaprawi, Malindo Air Chief Executive Officer Chandran Rama Muthy and media representatives.
Travel industry analysts said the inaugural flight is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, given the long-lasting business linkages between both destinations.
With the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) having been successfully concluded recently with both Malaysia and Australia as would be signatories, there is even more reason for Malindo Air to expand to other Australia destinations.
The flight to Perth also demonstrates the remarkable growth achieved by the hybrid carrier within a span of few years since its launch in March 2013.
The weekly service also marks the airline's first flight into Australia, which is also the eighth country in its expanding international network.
The five hour 15 minute flight to Perth is the furthest route from the carrier's main hub in klia2 by distance.
Chandran had said in a recent statement that the airline's international network development in the second half of 2015 supports the company long-term vision to provide travellers with an extensive range of destinations and seamless connectivity from Kuala Lumpur as a regional hub.
"Perth will expand our coverage and strengthen our customer proposition in the strategically important markets of Asia.
"We are very confident that this new service, our first to Australia, will boost travel and trade between Australia and Malaysia," he added.
The narrow-body Boeing 737-900ER aircraft with a seat capacity of 180, including 12 Business Class and 168 Economy Class seats, was deployed on the 4,126-kilometre route.
Promotional fares for the new route start from RM459 for economy class and RM1,499 for business class one-way, all inclusive of perks such as free baggage allowance, in-flight entertainment, a meal and light refreshments.
Malindo Air which took to the skies with domestic flights has since grown to operate routes to all major airports in Malaysia and across regional destinations covering Indonesia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Singapore.
For the record, the airline flew 900,000 people in its first year of operations, which increased to 2.5 million in 2014.
The airline anticipates a staggering jump in passengers to four million by end-2015, as the coverage would widen to 10 countries in the region by then.
Malindo Air bagged the Airline of the Year (Passenger) 2014 award at the 10th edition of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Awards recently.
The airline has grown by leaps and bounds to a fleet of 26 aircraft, comprising 11 ATR72-600 and 15 Boeing 737NG as of October this year.
Malindo Air is expected to take delivery of its 16th Boeing jet this month, closing the year on a high note, alongside new route announcements to Australia, China and further points of Asia.
It received its 15th Boeing aircraft in October this year which brings the airline's fleet size to 26, including 11 ATR turboprop aircraft. — BERNAMA
Original Source: bernama