Air travel continues to grow in Asean

25 Sep 2012

Asian carriers are continuing to increase their flights between different Asean nations as demand for travel within the region grows. 

Malaysian Airlines is launching a fifth daily service between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The new flight MH796 will depart at 2155 to arrive in Bangkok at 2300, with the return leg leaving 0620 to arrive at 0930. 

The flight will use a 160-seater B737-800 aircraft with 16 business and 144 economy class seats. When added to the existing four daily flights, the new flight will raise the airline’s weekly capacity of the route by 25 per cent, from 4,448 seats to 5,568 seats. 

Business ties between Thailand and Malaysia have been steadily increasing over the past few years, boosted by the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) under which the regions country's had significantly reduced trade tariffs by January 2010. In the same year, Thai exports to Malaysia climbed up 66 per cent, according to the Malaysian government trade promotion agency MATRADE. 

AirAsia will double its flights between Kuala Lumpur and Yogyakarta to twice daily from October 31. Until November 7, the new flight will depart from Kuala Lumpur at 1640 and arrive in Yogakarta at 1815, with the return leg leaving 1845 and landing 2210. Thereafter, it will depart at 1745 and arrive at 1920, with the return leg leaving at 1940 and landing at 1105. 

Yogyakarta is located in the middle of Indonesia’s Java island, about 600km southeast of Jakarta.  It is on the main railway line running across the island. The city, a longstanding tourist destination, is now gradually emerging economically with industries including garment and furniture manufacture. It is also home to the Jogja Expo Center (JEC), which is hosting increasing numbers of conventions and exhibitions.

Last month Aston International opened one of its limited-service Fave brand hotels in the city, stating that the country’s growing middle class meant there was a high demand for accommodation there. IHG plans to open a Holiday Inn Express in Yogyakarta in 2014 (see here).

In March 2009, AirAsia’s subsidiary AirAsia Indonesia began operating flights between Yogyakarta and Singapore (see here). 

Nicholas Olczak

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