AirAsia today announced a significant increase in services between China-Malaysia and India-Malaysia, totalling an impressive 230 weekly flights starting in the first quarter of 2024, with up to 5.2 million seats per year.
The significant increase in capacity via AirAsia Malaysia (airline code AK) and AirAsia X Malaysia (airline code D7) comes in response to the anticipated surge in travel demand following the Malaysian government’s announcement of a 30-day visa-free entry for travellers from China and India into Malaysia starting 1 December 2023. The announcement also coincides with the recent announcement of the easing of travel restrictions for Malaysians to China, from 1 December 2023.
Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes said: “This is a huge, much-anticipated news not only for AirAsia but for the country, and we truly thank the Malaysian government, particularly Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, for this forward-thinking initiative. AirAsia has been at the forefront of trying to make visiting Malaysia easier. The 30-day visa-free entry for the citizens of China and India will surely provide a welcome boost for Malaysia’s tourism and its economy ahead of the upcoming peak travel season while boosting economic bonds between these great nations. As a vital player in the aviation sector, we stand ready to add capacity to support the demand for affordable and accessible air travel in the region.”
AirAsia Aviation Group Limited Group CEO, Bo Lingam added: “We see this as an opportunity not only to enhance regional connectivity in two of our largest markets, but also to act as a catalyst for significant economic growth. With an estimated 4.6 million guests expected to travel on our extensive network of 26 routes in China and India in 2024 alone, we are ready to play a pivotal role in achieving Malaysia’s ambitious tourism targets of 25 million international tourists annually.”
As the largest foreign low-cost carrier in China, both AirAsia Malaysia (AK) and AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) fly 17 routes into the country with a total of 156 flights weekly AirAsia Malaysia (AK) and AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) fly from Kuala Lumpur to Guangzhou, Quanzhou, Kunming, Guilin), Nanning, Shantou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. AirAsia Malaysia (AK) also flies from Kota Kinabalu to Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing and Wuhan, as well as from Johor Bahru to Guangzhou.
Both airlines have also increased frequencies to nine routes into India with a total of 74 flights weekly. AirAsia Malaysia (AK) flies from Kuala Lumpur to Bengaluru, Kolkata, Cochin, Hyderabad, Chennai, Trichy, and Trivandrum – a new destination starting in February 2024. AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) flies from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi and Amritsar.
Recently, the China Embassy in Malaysia also announced that Malaysian citizens holding ordinary passports who enter China for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes can enjoy visa-free travel for up to 15 days starting 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2024