17 July 2009
JOHOR BAHARU -- Low cost carrier AirAsia is resuming it's Johor Baharu-Bangkok flight beginning July 21, three weeks after it stopped the service.
And the resumption of the two-hour long flight from the Senai airport here has met with approval from the State tourism authority and travel agents alike.
But the question which still trouble them is whether AirAsia would commit themselves to continue servicing the route or put a stop to it like the previous two occasions where they decided that the JB-Bangkok route would no longer be part of their operations.
The AirAsia JB-Bangkok flight was first introduced in 2005 but it was stopped a year later, and in February 2008 the flight resumed only to be stopped again in the beginning of July this year.
Johor executive councillor in charge of tourism Hoo Seong Chang welcomed AirAsia's latest decision but he cautioned against the disruption of the service in future.
"It's the state goverment's policy to make the Senai airport into a passenger hub and therefore we welcome any airlines which want to fly or land here.
"AirAsia has been supportive but I can also understand the situation they are caught in sometimes. They told us that the low load factor is one reason why they sometimes stop certain flight.
"Maybe the situation now with the spread of the HIN1 virus is preventing people from travelling but I urge AirAsia to be more patient. When the situation improves more people will travel," said Hoo.
The resumption of the flight has also been welcomed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) which sees the JB-Bangkok flight as very convenient for travellers from Johor.
Infact Thailand or rather Bangkok in particular remains a favourite holiday destination for Malaysians with arrival at 1.82 million for the year 2008, an increase of 18 percent from the previous year's arrival of 1.54 million.
"The figures are encouraging but at the same time, to go on a holiday to Thailand also means value for money," said Richard Lim, the TAT marketing manager for Malaysia and Brunei.