AirAsia aims to fly 1.3 million tourists to Langkawi this year through 300,000 direct international flights.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said target would be achievable following the introduction of a new direct route that would connect the island to Shenzhen, China.
He said the new route would boost direct international tourists to the island and achieve the vision of positioning Langkawi on par with Bali and Phuket.
Fernandes said as the crown jewel of the country`s tourism sector, more efforts should be done to ensure that Langkawi was able to match tourist-arrivals of Bali and Phuket, the two world popular holiday destinations in the region.
He said the trice weekly flight from Langkawi to Shenzen is the World`s Best Low-Cost airline`s seventh route, which includes four domestic routes to the island.
Air Asia flies its Shenzhen to Langkawi route each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while the return flight to Shenzhen is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We are driven by this because and we already flew over 1 million tourists to Langkawi with our 238 weekly flights to the island,” he told reporters after the official launching of the new route by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.
The Langkawi-Shenzhen is the second Langkawi direct flight route to China after Guangzhou.
Fernandes said since the introduction of the Langkawi-Guangzhou direct route, the number of direct flights to the island had increased from 83,754 passengers in 2015 to 187,433 passengers last year, an increase by 120 per cent.
“This has contributed to RM300 million to the growth domestic product (GDP) to the island based on 12 times multiplier effect,” he said
He said Langkawi offered diversified attractions including eco-tourism attractions and also family-oriented activities.
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