GEORGE TOWN, Oct 17 (Bernama) -- AirAsia Bhd aims to make Langkawi International Airport its sixth international hub in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
Chief Executive Officer Aireen Omar said Langkawi offers huge potential for growth following the launch of the Langkawi to Guangzhou, China route early this year.
"We are looking to introduce more flights to and from Langkawi by next year and make the airport our new international hub for AirAsia.
"Right now, we are relying on our aircraft from Kuala Lumpur to build the connectivity to Langkawi, but by next year, we hope to have a couple of aircraft based there.
"Usually, when we build a hub, it will make economic sense to put a minimum of two aircraft there," she told reporters on the sidelines of the World Tourism Conference 2016 here today.
Aireen said the Penang International Airport (PIA) always reaches full capacity during festive seasons.
"Our parking bays and terminals are very congested during festive seasons and I have suggested to the authorities to expand the current airport or build another dedicated low-cost terminal to cater to the demand of the tourism industry.
"PIA offers high potential for us but unfortunately there are infrastructure constraints. Ideally, we would like to see a dedicated low-cost terminal in Penang where we can easily build on that connectivity to link with our current destinations," she said.
Aireen said the group is also targeting to increase its fleet from the current 205 to 500 aircraft by 2028 to cater to the exceptional growth in the low-cost travel industry.
The low-cost carrier has over 275 routes across 23 countries and flies to over 117 destinations, including 85 routes unique to AirAsia.