12 July 2022
The position of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport as an aviation hub has grown by offering direct connectivity to almost all parts of the Asia-Pacific region, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said the success of KLIA as a regional hub was also strategically important for Malaysia, given that it supports essential economic linkages with the rest of the world and is a catalyst for the growth of opportunities in the Malaysian economy.
“As such, the government remains committed to the strong positioning and sustained growth of KLIA,” he said.
Dr Wee said with the aviation sector facing many challenges, it was important for the airlines and KLIA to jointly plan for the future.
He also reminded all aviation operators and airlines to continue improving their services to aid Malaysia’s recovery.
“As people movers, operators must strive to keep their airfares within affordable and accessible limits.
“They must also continue adhering to and upholding regulation standards set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),” he said.
He said this at the rebranding exercise of Malindo Air, which now operates as Batik Air.
Dr Wee also graced the introduction of the Boeing 737-8 as part of the airline’s fleet following the rebranding.
“The rebranding and launch mark the beginning of an exciting transformation, alongside being a promising endeavour.
“This benefits not only the airline itself but also the aerospace and air transport industry,” he said.
The MCA president added that the addition of the Boeing 737-8 to Batik Air’s fleet was a milestone in Malaysian aviation as it would be the first airline in Malaysia to operate the aircraft.
“With (the aircraft’s) flight time spanning a maximum of eight hours, Batik Air will be able to improve its product offerings alongside expanding operations to further markets,” he said.
Dr Wee also said that operators and airlines should always show that they were committed to meeting the highest safety standards and putting the needs of passengers and crew members first.
Batik Air chief executive officer Captain Mushafiz Mustafa Bakri, said the rebranding exercise enabled it to be synchronised with its regional sister airline, Batik Air Indonesia, allowing recognition for both as a broader entity.
“Through this, we anticipate gradual but tangible growth in passenger traffic on our existing network.
“The introduction of the new aircraft is also key to the growth of our overall capacity and fleet expansion strategy,” he said.
He also said that the CAAM had given Batik Air permission for the Boeing 737-8 to fly in Malaysia and around the world.
“We are looking to induct 17 units of the new aircraft into our fleet given its fuel efficiency, alongside having a lower carbon footprint and improved range by year end,” said Mushafiz.
Also present were CAAM chief executive officer Datuk Captain Chester Voo, Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Haji Kasim, Lion Air Group founder Rusdi Kirana, Lion Air Group strategic director Datuk Chandran Rama Murthy and Boeing Sales and Marketing Asia Region senior vice-president John Bruns.
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