GEORGE TOWN, Nov 10 — The Penang state government hopes the Federal government will consider including Penang International Airport (PIA) in the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Malaysia and Singapore as this is set to benefit the country’s manufacturing landscape.
In a statement, State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said PIA’s inclusion in the Malaysia-Singapore VTL, which will take effect on Nov 29, would be a strong anchor to attract more air traffic from Singapore.
“This will then be a booster for Malaysia’s economy, particularly for Penang, Kedah, Perlis, and Perak.
“As a manufacturing hub boasting the label as the Silicon Valley of the East, introducing VTL in PIA will also see benefits to our manufacturing landscape that comprises an arsenal of multinational companies,” he said.
He said the international air route between Changi International Airport and PIA recorded 107 flights per week during pre-pandemic days in November 2019, which he believes is a commendable figure that must be considered by Putrajaya.
Therefore, Yeoh said launching VTL in the two cities concurrently could double the pace of economic recovery and reboot the battered industries, particularly the services sector which comprises food and beverage, hotels and tourism operators.
“Putting PIA in the VTL list will benefit Penang as well as other neighbouring states, which are all dependent on PIA as the only international airport for traffic and business opportunities,” he said.
While speaking about public safety and industry preparedness, Yeoh cited that Penang’s adult population vaccination rate has achieved 99 per cent, while total population is at 83.1 per cent as of Nov 9. — Bernama