LANGKAWI: More than 1,000 leaders from airlines, airports, tourism authorities and aviation players in Asia-Pacific will be gathering here in the region’s largest annual meet on air routes development.
Called Routes Asia, this high-powered event featuring decision-makers will take place from Feb 27 to 29 next year.
More than 3,000 meetings and discussions are expected to be held among the bigwigs to execute post-Covid-19 recovery strategies and reshape Asia-Pacific’s air services.
Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) announced in a statement that it had successfully worked with strategic partners Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd and Tourism Malaysia to attract the organisers to hold next year’s Route Asia at Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre.
“It is a vital event that will draw fresh attention to Langkawi as a global destination,” Lada added.
The authority pointed out that the archipelago had been giving special focus to air routes development by offering airlines and flight charters special deals.
This includes the chartered flight incentive this year, which will be extended to next year.
Another incentive starting next year is the inaugural scheduled flight incentive for airlines starting new routes to Langkawi and maintaining them for at least a year, which will gain the airline an incentive of US$10,000 (RM46,725).
Lada’s latest score is a flight from Dubai seven days a week, as announced by flydubai in September.
Using Boeing 737 MAX jets that offer lie-flat seats in the business class, the daily flights from Dubai International Airport will make a short stop in Penang before landing in Langkawi.
It starts on Feb 10, 2024.
Lada said it had been lobbying for flydubai to land in Langkawi since 2019, before the pandemic hit.
Discussions resumed last November and the deal was sealed this September.
“With this addition, we will see 190 domestic and international flights arriving in Langkawi weekly,” the authority added.
Lada was founded in 1990 as a Finance Ministry agency and is mandated to boost socioeconomic development in Langkawi, develop it as a tourist destination and duty-free zone, and promote the island’s tourism and infrastructure as well as agricultural, industrial and commercial growth.