SEPANG, April 1 — A Saudi Airlines aircraft from Jeddah, Arab Saudi was the first international flight to land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) following the reopening of the country’s borders today.

The aircraft, whose passengers included Malaysians returning from their umrah, touched down about 1 am.

It was followed by a chartered flight carrying 21 passengers from Yangon, Myanmar, which landed around 3.15am.

A passenger on the flight from Yangon, Mohd Akram Amri, 35, said it was smooth sailing at KLIA as it took him only about 10 minutes to clear airport procedures compared to more than two hours previously.

“Before the borders were opened, it was strict, with the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and a 14-day quarantine. But the process is much easier now that the borders are open,” said the father of four who was working overseas for three months.

According to the KLIA flight schedule board, at least 17 international flights are scheduled to land, including from Jeddah; Yangon; Kathmandu, Nepal; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Melbourne, Australia; Chennai and Hyderabad, India; London-Heathrow; Jakarta, Indonesia; Muscat, Oman; Singapore; and Doha, Qatar until 9.30 am today.

On March 8, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the country’s borders would be opened on April 1, as the country begins its transition to the endemic phase of Covid-19. — Bernama