AirAsia Malaysia (AK) will resume Kota Kinabalu-Hangzhou starting with three flights a week from 2 September.

Meanwhile, medium-haul AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) will increase flights from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing (Daxing) from four to five flights weekly beginning 1 September.

Furthermore, Kuala Lumpur-Shanghai will go up from four weekly to daily from 15 September, while Kuala Lumpur-Hangzhou will increase from three to four weekly starting 30 September.

AirAsia says the additional flights are in response to “a significant rebound in demand for travel between Malaysia and China” and the group expects forward sales “to continue to accelerate in the coming months”.

Some full-service carriers, including Air Astana, have told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific recently that the Chinese recovery was disappointing and that they have better opportunities deploying their aircraft elsewhere.

AirAsia says it achieved load factors of 80 per cent across AirAsia Malaysia (AK) and AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) flights to/from China in July, with the best performing routes including Kuala Lumpur-Shanghai, Kota Kinabalu-Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur-Nanning and Kota Kinabalu-Wuhan.

Both airlines have sold more than 320,000 seats between China and Malaysia from March to early July this year, which is about 30 per cent compared to the same period, pre-Covid in 2019.

AirAsia notes that about 75 per cent of the seats sold are purchased by Chinese nationals, which it views as “a clear signal that Malaysia continues to be one of the preferred destinations for tourists from China”.

AirAsia Malaysia (AK) currently flies 14 routes to/from China with over 104 flights a week from KL to Guilin, Quanzhou, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shenzhen, Nanning, Shantou and Macau; Kota Kinabalu to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Beijing and Macau; and Johor Bahru to Guangzhou.

AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) currently flies four routes to/from China with over 22 flights a week from KL to Chengdu (Tianfu), Beijing (Daxing), Shanghai, and Hangzhou.