LANGKAWI, Dec 28 — Three special chartered flights by Kompas Tour from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Langkawi are expected to boost the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign to the duty-free resort island.
Today’s seven-hour special chartered flight by a Boeing 757-200 Sunday Airlines, with 235 passengers on board, arrived at the Langkawi International Airport (LIA) at 10.30 am.
Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof said the initiative would boost the number of tourists from Kazakhstan to Malaysia, which registered 13,912 visitors as of September 2019, an increase of 33.6 per cent over the same period last year.
“The Kompas Tour special chartered flight is a collaboration between Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Embassy Alliance Travel (M) Sdn Bhd and Kompas Tour, which is one of the leading travel agencies in Central Asia.
“The next flight after this will be on Jan 4 and 12. The three flights combined would bring a total 705 passengers. We hope the Almaty-Langkawi route will be well-received in Kazakhstan and Central Asia and, subsequently, special chartered flights will continue to grow especially to this island,” he said.
Musa was speaking to reporters after welcoming the arrival of the first Kompas Tour special chartered flight here today.
Also present were LADA chief executive officer Hezri Adnan, Syarikat Penerbangan MAHB manager of airline marketing Mohamed Sallauddin Mohamed Shah and Ayer Hangat State Assemblyman Juhari Bulat.
Musa explained that the flights from Kazakhstan to Langkawi would not only bring tourists from Kazakhstan but also from its neighbouring countries in Central Asia such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
“Our promotion in Kazakhstan is not only to attract tourists from that country but also its nearby neighbours following the increasing number of tourists from Central Asia to Malaysia every year. The people of Central Asia have the means to visit abroad so we take this opportunity to introduce this country to them,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Hezri said the strategic cooperation carried out by Tourism Malaysia and Kompas Tour had boosted the number of tourists from Central Asia.
‘’The Central Asian market is very big. This collaboration has opened a new market for Langkawi. For the record, Kompas Tour has brought in 461 tourists through two special chartered flights from Almaty in January this year. We laud this co-operation which has benefited Langkawi through the presence of tourists from Central Asia, ‘’ he added. — Bernama