19 August 2009
Air Asia, the world's best low-cost Airline launched its daily direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Colombo yesterday.
High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka Rosli Ismail told a gathering at the Hilton Colombo yesterday that the commencement of daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Sri Lanka was a timely decision as Sri Lanka has entered a new era having successfully ended the war on terrorism.
He said that with the greater connectivity from Air Asia around the world in which Malaysia is one of the low cost carrier hubs, it would play a greater role in boosting the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.
Malaysia will encourage more companies to invest in Sri Lanka and will participate in the economic development specially in areas where Malaysia has the know-how and expertise such as infrastructure development, telecommunications, oil and gas industry. Malaysia will strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, he said.
The High Commissioner said the number of Sri Lankan tourists to Malaysia has increased significantly - nearly 35 percent over the past two years.
In 2008, 42,774 Sri Lankans visited Malaysia compared to 31,733 in 2007.
The number of Malaysian tourists to Sri Lanka too increased from 12,737 in 2007 to over 15,000 in 2008. He hoped that in the years to come the number of Malaysians visiting Sri Lanka will increase with the commencement of Air Asia's daily flights from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur.
Group Chief Executive Officer AirAsia Tony Fernandes said that the airline has sold nearly 30,000 seats during the past two months and it is a clear testament that Air Asia's low fares have empowered people to fly.