New flights a win for Malaysia-India traffic

INDIAN buyers are cheering Malindo Air’s new daily services from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi and Mumbai, which will help them offer more competitive packages to Malaysia.

The Malaysian low-cost carrier, which has some full-service offerings, kicked off a New Delhi service on December 30, 2013, while flights to Mumbai will commence on February 15, 2014 (TTG Asia e-Daily, December 3, 2013). This will increase seat capacity on these routes and provide an alternative to flying on Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which has enjoyed a monopoly on these routes since AirAsia suspended operations to Mumbai and New Delhi in 2012.

Rajendra Dhumma, director of Classis Travels & Tours Mumbai, said he would be able to lower package prices to Malaysia from Rs60,000 (US$973) to Rs45,000 for a four-day package based on twin-sharing at three-star hotels.

Mahendra Rawal, managing director of Adler Tours & Safaris in Mumbai, added: “When AirAsia suspended flights to India, we lost 25 per cent of the outbound business to Malaysia. With Malindo Air’s entry, we hope to gain back market share.”

Munira Basrai, proprietor, ICE Incentives Conferences Events, revealed that a recent incentive group of 400 delegates from Mumbai had selected Hong Kong over Kuala Lumpur because of the high airfares offered by MAS.

She said: “As long as the airfares are competitive and there is flexibility to change dates and names, Indians will not mind using Malindo Air for incentives.”

A spokesperson for Malindo Air said its corporate rates allow clients to make last-minute flight changes. They can also pre-book meals on board.

Meanwhile, Malaysian outbound agencies said the new flights would also encourage more leisure travel to India.

K Thangavelu, managing director at Grandlotus Travel Agencies, said: “Malindo Air’s lower airfares will attract more FIT and budget travellers. It offers a very good value proposition with complimentary light refreshments on board, inflight entertainment and 30kg of checked baggage allowance on economy class.”

Hidden Asia Travel & Tours managing director, Nanda Kumar, also pointed out that the airline offers a trade rate, which is RM50 (US$15) to RM100 lower than online rates.

Read the full story in TTG Official Show Daily – ATF 2014

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