MALINDO Air is set to take to the skies later this week with cheers from the trade, who welcome the increased capacity and promotional fares on the airline's first routes to Sabah and Sarawak.
A member of Lion Group, the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier will commence thrice-daily services to Kota Kinabalu on March 22 and four-times-daily services to Kuching the next day, on 180-seater Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.
Malindo Air’s commercial director, Rajasegaran Rajoo, said the airline was looking at connecting Kuala Lumpur to three more points in Sarawak, namely Sibu, Bintulu and Miri by June.
The self-proclaimed “Malaysian hybrid” offers low fares coupled with services offered by full-service airlines such as refreshments, 45-inch seats in business class and 32-inch seats in economy.
Inbound tour operator, World Avenues executive director, Ally Bhoonee, said: “Malindo’s promotional airfares will improve domestic tourism between East and West Malaysia, and provide more flight options and timings for travellers. Hopefully, the increase in seat capacity will also see a reduction in airfares in these sectors, which are currently dominated by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.”
Malindo’s one-way, all-in promotional airfare, starts from RM38 (US$12) to Kuching and RM68 to Kota Kinabalu.
In comparison, promotional airfares as seen on AirAsia’s website on Saturday priced the earliest Kota Kinabalu flight at RM134 all-in, and the cheapest flight to Kuching on the same day at RM124 all-in.
Sabah Tourism Board chairman, Tengku Zainal Adlin, said what was more important was the increase in seat capacity. He noted there was a shortage of seats on the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu sector, especially during the school holiday season.