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Saturday, April 8, 2017
Malacca to start direct flight to Guangzhou
MALACCA: There will soon be a direct flight between Malacca and China’s southern province of Guangzhou.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said the scheduled international flight, to be operated by China Southern Airlines, would give the Malacca International Airport (LTAM) a new lease of life.
“The flight is expected to begin in three months’ time.
“We are working on the details and communicating closely with the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to have this Guangzhou-Malacca direct flight,” he told The Staryesterday.
With this flight, local passengers can fly to China directly from LTAM at Batu Berendam here without having to travel to KLIA or KLIA2.
Idris said the new route would hopefully lead to other airlines using Malacca as their regional aviation service hub.
He said it was a fulfilment of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Malacca and Guangzhou on Sept 21, 2015, in Putrajaya, as witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The effect of this MoU is snowballing into an investment of close to RM100bil in Malacca, which will translate into an influx of Chinese tourists here.
“The arrival of airlines from tourist source nations, especially China, will be the cornerstone of the proposed plan to improve the connectivity of the airport,” he added.
Meanwhile, state Transport, Project Rehabilitation and International Trade Committee chairman Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the runway would be extended to 2.5km and more passenger handling facilities and carparks would be added at the airport.
He said talks were in progress to have another direct flight from Hainan province.
“We are looking at more destinations from China and Indonesia before we woo other countries,” he said.
Lim added that the LTAM could act as the main entry point for medical tourism.
Currently, it is used mainly for training purposes with one leading flying school in the country based there.