AirAsia today launched its inaugural flight from Kuching to Langkawi,
operating four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
KUCHING: AirAsia today launched its inaugural flight from Kuching to Langkawi, operating four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
AirAsia Commercial Head Spencer Lee said the airline is committed to continue growing the hub as Sarawak has a lot to offer beyond being a tourism destination.
"Increasing connectivity into the state is important for us as it is also one of the top preferred investment destinations in the country, with the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) attracting investors to set up manufacturing plants on ICT, agriculture, industrial and many more," he said.
"We have flown about 3.2 million guests in and out of the Kuching hub last year. We believe the introduction of the two new routes; to and from Kuching, namely Pontianak recently and Langkawi today, echoes our commitment in Sarawak," he said.
Speaking to the media at the airport's VIP lounge here, Lee said AirAsia is expected to launch another new international route from Kuching by the end of this year.
"We will be introducing one more new route, flying to an international destination from Kuching within these few months. We hope to create more routes next year," he added.
Meanwhile, state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said AirAsia has done plenty to bring in more routes and it is time for the private sector to play their role.
"This is a good opportunity for us to attract those from Langkawi as AirAsia is the only airline that connect Sarawak to Langkawi now. We cannot expect the airline to introduce a new route and then assist us in promotion and marketing.
“Hence, I hope the private sector, especially tour operators as well as the Sarawak Tourism Board, will take the initiative to promote and market Sarawak to the world," he said.
"We need more qualified and trained tour guides, commercial complexes as well as more private hospitals to be set up to boost our medical tourism," he added.
Karim also touched on negotiations to construct a Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Kuching with AirAsia, and said he hopes it will materialise soon.
"We are still discussing and negotiating with AirAsia on the LCCT project. I will reveal more when things have being finalised," he said.
AirAsia now flies to 11 destinations from Kuching, with more than 220 weekly flights. Besides Langkawi, other destinations are Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Pontianak.