MELAKA, May 27 — The Melaka International Airport (LTAM) in Batu Berendam here is expected to resume operations with the opening of the Melaka-Penang-Melaka route via Malindo Air or now known as Batik Air by this June the latest.

State Tourism, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis said two-way flights to the destination would be offered twice a week as a start and the frequency of the flights would be increased according to demand.

“This matter has been agreed by Batik Air through a series of discussions and in the early stages, we will open the Melaka-Penang-Melaka route before adding the next route which is the two-way flight Melaka to Indonesia via Pekanbaru after getting the green light from the Indonesian government.

“The opening of air routes through LTAM is very important in the effort to revive the tourism industry in the state, thus ensuring that the target of 5.6 million tourists to Melaka this year can be achieved,” he said.

He told reporters this after the ‘Revitalise and Rejuvenate Melaka’ event with state tourism industry players here today.

Also present were Head of Sales (Commercial) of Batik Air Arasu Soundarajan, Head of Communication and Promotion of Batik Air (South Asia) Suresh Vanan and State Tourism Promotion Division General Manager Sa’ari Basiron.

Muhammad Jailani said through the opening of the air route, about 30,000 tourists are expected to use the flight service in the next six months.

Meanwhile, Arasu said the Melaka-Penang-Melaka route will use the ATR-72 aircraft that could accommodate 72 passengers.

He said that once approved, Batik Air would offer the Melaka-Pekanbaru-Melaka route and ticket counters would be set up at LTAM.

“Previously, under the Malindo Air brand, we have been operating at LTAM for both destinations namely Penang and Pekanbaru and the response received had been very encouraging.

“Batik Air has no problem working with the state government to reopen the route, thus helping to boost the tourism industry in Melaka,” he said. — Bernama