LANGKAWI, 10 Feb 2009: The Tourism Ministry has set up a special committee to have discussions with airline companies to increase flights and boost tourism, said its minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
She said the committee would be chaired by her deputy Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib and be made up of chairpersons of state tourism committees and state tourism action councils.
“The committee will meet Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and low-cost carrier AirAsia to increase flights into the country to increase tourist numbers,” Azalina told reporters after chairing a meeting of the national tourism development committee here today.
MAS had direct flights on the London-Langkawi, London-Penang route and Bangkok-Langkawi routes but they were discontinued a few years ago.
Azalina said the committee would assist airlines’ efforts to resume such services.
She said requests for direct London-Langkawi and London-Penang flights had been made by several state tourism committees.
She said Malaysia targeted drawing 20 million foreign tourists this year.
“Foreign tourist arrivals to the country recorded a positive increase of 22 million last year which was a 5.1 percent jump from 20.9 million in 2007,” Azalina said. — Bernama