AirAsia and Penang Global Tourism (PGT) today signed a memorandum of collaboration (MOC) to elevate Penang as a preferred tourism destination in the region.
The MOC encompasses greater commercial collaboration and partnerships between the airline and the tourism body to create new business opportunities, develop joint sales and marketing campaigns, strengthen flight connectivity, and boost the state’s economy through tourism.
Already dubbed as one of the Best Destinations to Visit in 2022 by a global publication and Top 10 islands in Southeast Asia for 2022, Penang is set to welcome more tourists this year as AirAsia brings the region closer to the state with 184 flights weekly as a group. These include two new domestic routes launched recently from Kota Bharu and Sibu to Penang as well as several routes, which returned to the pre-pandemic frequency.
As a start of the collaboration, AirAsia will be offering great value fares to Penang from RM59 all-in* one way starting 15 August until 21 August 2022 for the travel period between 22 August 2022 and 18 April 2023.
AirAsia will not only drive both domestic and international tourists to Penang with a total of seven domestic and six international routes as a group, but will extend tourism promotion through its airasia Super App with exciting deals across airasia food, airasia ride, hotels, SNAP (hotel + flight combo), and more.
The MOC was signed by Riad Asmat, CEO of AirAsia Malaysia and Ooi Chok Yan, CEO of PGT, witnessed by YB Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang state EXCO for Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) at G Hotel, Penang. Also in attendance were representatives from the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Tourism Malaysia, and other key industry players.
Riad Asmat, CEO of AirAsia Malaysia said: “We need a collective effort to rebuild the tourism industry and PGT has been instrumental in ensuring that Penang is tourism-ready post-pandemic. As the largest carrier into Penang with the market share of 50% as a group, this bodes well with our expansion plans of opening up and developing new markets to/from the state.
“Since the gradual resumption of our services to/from Penang, we have flown over 584,000 guests into the state including more than 87,000 international guests since the border reopening in April. This would have not been possible without the continued support from the state government, PGT and other tourism players and we thank them for their continued ongoing cooperation.
“As we look to further increase the connectivity to Penang, we trust that our weekly flight frequency as a group will present significant tourism opportunities especially to local industry players. Our great value fares stimulate air travel wherever we fly and we look forward to seeing a surge in tourist arrivals to the popular leisure state in the near future.”
Ooi Chok Yan, CEO of PGT said: “We are pleased to forge a stronger collaboration with AirAsia to strengthen the commercial opportunities for the state tourism in line with the Penang Tourism Master Plan 2021-2030. Partnerships are important to accelerate the recovery of the industry and reach new market segmentations. Through this partnership, we will launch exciting campaigns and initiatives in the coming months across all AirAsia key markets including both domestic and international, as well as tapping into the millions of airasia Super App users for cross-promotion activities.
“We are also thrilled that AirAsia has returned a number of routes to/from Penang to its pre-pandemic frequency connecting the region closer to the state, resulting in about 31% of overall passengers arrival from January to July this year. Through our Experience Penang campaign, the state government has been promoting less explored destinations such as Balik Pulau, Teluk Bahang and Seberang Perai, as an initiative to uphold inclusivity in efforts to reach out to more local communities and increase their livelihoods.”
As a group, AirAsia operates 184 flights weekly via 13 routes to Penang. AirAsia Malaysia (flight code: AK) flies to Penang from Kuala Lumpur (42x weekly), Johor Bahru (28x weekly), Kota Bharu (3x weekly), Kota Kinabalu (14x weekly), Kuching (14x weekly), Sibu (2x weekly), and Langkawi (21x weekly) as well as Singapore (21x weekly) Ho Chi Minh City (4 x weekly) and Jakarta (3x weekly). AirAsia Indonesia (flight code: QZ) flies to Penang from Medan (14x weekly), Surabaya (2x weekly) and Jakarta (4x weekly). AirAsia Thailand flies to Penang from Bangkok - Don Mueang (12x weekly). Further network developments will be announced in due course in line with growing demand.