The low-cost carrier AirAsia has launched its inaugural flight from Penang to Melaka in Malaysia.

The flight was operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft and was welcomed at Melaka International Airport with a water cannon salute.

With the service launch, Melaka becomes AirAsia’s sixth domestic destination and 14th route from its Penang hub.

“We are very happy to welcome AirAsia to Melaka,” said Melaka Chief Minister YAB Tuan Adly bin Zahari. “We applaud AirAsia’s effort in launching this new route, which coincides with Visit Melaka Year 2019 (VMY2019). Melaka received 17.02 million tourists in 2018, with 33.41% of them comprising foreign tourists.

“This year, our target is to hit 20 million tourists. Under the VMY2019 initiative, we’ve introduced a variety of attractive accommodation packages and interesting activities to cater to more international and local tourists. We look forward to welcome more visitors to Melaka through AirAsia’s network.”

AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat called it a “proud day” for the airline as well as “the people of two UNESCO world heritage sites and cities – Penang and Melaka”, adding: “The new route not only provides a boost to local tourism, but also contributes to long-lasting economic growth for the two cities.”

Asmat continued that the airline’s connectivity would open up “new flying options for the people of Melaka, particularly for those looking to travel to East Malaysia or onwards to other Asean destinations.”

Image caption: Receiving AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Penang to Melaka. (Fourth from left) AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat; Melaka chief minister YAB Tuan Adly bin Zahari; deputy minister of Primary Industries and Member of Parliament for Hang Tuah Jaya, YB Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Haji Mohd Akin; Transport and Public Facilities Exco Member YB Datuk Mohd Sofi bin Abdul Wahab; Melaka Human Resource and Community Exco Member YB Tuan G. Saminathan.

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