BUKIT MERTAJAM, March 18 — The Penang government is in talks with several airlines to establish more direct flights to the state in a bid to catalyse the tourism industry’s recovery and expedite economic rebound.

State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the state would like to have more airlines flying direct to Penang, especially from the Asean region to revive the state’s tourism industry.

“We cannot reveal much detail now. We are in the midst of discussion with some of the airlines at the moment. At present, everything is progressing smoothly.

“I foresee it is a positive sign to brighten up the state’s tourism future,” he told reporters after witnessing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Grand Orient Hotel and BonusLink Loyalty Card here today.

He said the state government hoped this move would also bring in more tourists after the opening of Malaysia’s international borders on April 1.

Meanwhile, Yeoh, who has been advocating for the air Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Penang and Singapore, said no Covid-19 positive cases were reported as of now.

“The Penang International Airport (PIA) received its first batch of passengers via the Penang-Singapore VTL on Wednesday and everything proceeded smoothly,” he added.

On the MoU signing, Yeoh said he was pleased to witness the elite partnership signing ceremony, which would allow guests of the hotel to redeem BonusLink points. — Bernama