Finnair subsidiary steps up Langkawi charters

FINNAIR subsidiary, Aurinkomatkat-Suntours, will be making its biggest production into Malaysia this coming winter season (2011-2012) since starting charters from Helsinki to Langkawi in December 2009.

It plans to use a bigger aircraft, the Airbus A330 with a seating capacity of 330, over the 227-seat Boeing B757 now, while flights will be once weekly from mid-December for a total of 12 weeks, from once fortnightly currently.

This will yield 3,400 passengers, from 2,200 passengers in the current winter season.

The company will also increase its brochure space on Malaysia from six pages now to at least 10, said manager, planning and quality assurance, Antero Kaleva. A wider selection of hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, and more day tours around Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, will be featured.

A new 14-night programme combining Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore will also be introduced. Kaleva said: “We’re giving clients a new destination, Singapore, and the possibility of seeing two big cities and a beach holiday.”

This replaces a tour combining Kota Kinabalu and Kuching with Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur which did not sell much this winter season. It also comes as Finnair gets ready to start daily flights from Helsinki to Singapore on May 30.

Aurinkomatkat-Suntours destination manager Malaysia, Piia Katajakari, said: “Malaysia is a destination with a lot of potential for further growth as this is a family destination and is also perceived as exotic to many.”

In terms of South-east Asia production for winter 2010-2011, Malaysia and Vietnam rank after Thailand, its top producer with some 35,000 clients.

– Full story in TTG Asia March 11

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