Turkish Airlines had increased its frequencies to Kuala Lumpur from October 1 to 10 weekly flights, from seven, while Kuwait Airways had recommenced operations to Kuala Lumpur, after a seven-year gap, with two weekly services from October 3.
Zahira Tahir, founder and CEO, Universal Holidays, said the improved air connectivity will help with the country’s tourism recovery as it would bring more tourists to Malaysia from across Turkish Airlines and Kuwait Airways network.
She said: “This bodes well for our promotions in the Middle East and the GCC. We had recently hired a regional sales person based in Saudi Arabia to cover the GCC leisure and business events markets.
“Malaysia is a very affordable destination right now, with the weak ringgit against the US dollar. We hope to promote Malaysia as an affordable luxury destination to the Middle East market.”
Ally Bhoonee, managing director, World Avenues Travel & Tours, shared that the increased air connectivity from Turkish Airlines and the commencement of services from Kuwait Airways will help Malaysia, especially during the peak Middle East travel season.
He said he lost FIT and clients in August from Morocco and Kuwait and had to reduce the number of group sizes due to the lack of seats and high airfares.
Mint Leong, managing director, Sunflower Holidays, commented that the increased frequency from Turkish Airlines and new services from Kuwait Airways will assist both inbound and outbound tourism.
She said there was a strong demand for outbound travel to Europe but Malaysia lacked direct air connectivity and travellers had to depend on a connecting flight to get to European cities other than Malaysia Airlines’ London service.
Leong shared: “Turkish Airlines is a popular choice among Malaysians flying to Turkey or wanting to take a connecting flight to Europe. Increased air frequencies means there are now more choices for Malaysians travelling outbound.
“Both Turkish Airlines and Kuwait Airways services will also attract Europeans to visit Malaysia. With improvements in air connectivity, I hope airfares will become more competitive.”