MELAKA – Wings Air, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Group, is set to launch a new route from Medan, Indonesia, to Melaka using the Melaka International Airport (LTAM) in Batu Berendam starting from April 20.
State Transport, Project Rehabilitation and International Trade Committee Chairman, Datuk Lim Ban Hong, said the low-cost carrier, which operates in partnership with Malindo Air, was set to use the ATR 72 aircraft with a passenger capacity of 72 people.
He said his committee expected the carrier to transport about 50,000 passengers to the state by year-end.
This would be Wings Air’s third route to the country, apart from those from Pontianak, Indonesia, to Kuching and Miri in Sarawak, he added.
“The airline will embark daily from Medan at 4.30 pm and arrive at LTAM at 5.30 pm before taking off again at 6 pm.
“A return ticket is priced between RM200 and RM400, and tickets can be purchased online at both Malindo Air (Malaysia) and Lion Air (Indonesia) portals,” he told a media conference here today.
Also present were Malindo Air Station Manager Asmawati Sapiae and Malaysia Airports Sdn Bhd Acting Manager, Melaka branch, Zalina Zakaria.
Lim said the launch of the new route was envisaged to encourage more domestic and foreign tourists to use LTAM as the gateway from Melaka to Medan and vice-versa.
“It will also boost the country’s medical tourism sector because many Indonesians visit Melaka to seek consultation and treatment at private hospitals here.
“In addition, Medan residents view positively Melaka’s progress and development, especially in the housing and real estate sector, and this may lead to more of them investing in property, as well as tourism and hospitality,” he added.
Meanwhile, he noted that LTAM handled 56,865 passengers last year and 15,726 passengers in the first quarter of this year.
So far, only Malindo Air offered a daily two-way flight from LTAM to Penang and Pekan Baru, Indonesia, he said.
In a separate development, Lim said the state government had proposed four new routes using LTAM – to Guangzhou, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; and Langkawi, Kedah – for budget carrier AirAsia’s consideration.
He said the proposals were still at the discussion stage but developments had been positive so far. – BERNAMA