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Vizag-Kuala Lumpur flight likely from March 28

As senior officials from Batik Air sought approvals to operate a direct flight on a regular basis

Vizag-Kuala Lumpur flight likely from March 28
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Vizag-Kuala Lumpur flight likely from March 28

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International Connect to Commercial Hub

• Prior Covid-19, Vizag had flight connectivity to Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore

• With normalcy restored, selective operation of flights under 'air bubble' were introduced in December 2021

• First airline to restore service was Scoot, with three days a week flight on Dec 29, 2021 to five days a week

• Talks are in progress to operate flights by SpiceJet and VietJet Air from Vizag to Bangkok, Dubai, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam, the main commercial hub of Andhra Pradesh is all set to have a direct flight to Malaysia from March 28 going by the indications.

A delegation from Malaysia visited the city and held talks with the authorities. "The indications are quite encouraging and senior officials from Batik Air sought approvals to operate a direct flight from Visakhapatnam to Kuala Lumpur on a regular basis," Director of Visakhapatnam International Airport K Srinivasa Rao told Bizz Buzz on Tuesday.

Tourism Malaysia held their second roadshow here in August last year during which Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Dabuk Seri Santhara and Director of Tourism (South India and Sri Lanka) Razaidi Abd Rahim saw huge potential for tourism among southern parts of India and Malaysia due to strong bilateral and cultural relationship. They had said that development of Buddhist circuit would bring a lot of Malaysians to Andhra Pradesh.

Malindo Airlines, a low-cost carrier from Malaysia after rebranding as Batik Air in April 2022 announced its plans to transform Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) into a transit hub for Lion Group of Airlines.

Prior to Covid-19, Visakhapatnam had flight connectivity to Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore. However, after the outbreak of the pandemic, all flight services were suspended.

When normalcy restoration started, the Ministry of Civil Airlines introduced selective operation of flights under 'air bubble' in December 2021. The first airline to restore was Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore International Airlines. Initially it reintroduced service with three days a week flight on December 29, 2021 and later increased the frequency to five days a week from March 27, 2022.

Air Travellers Association of Andhra president K Vijaya Mohan said after prolonged discussions with the Malaysian authorities, a decision has been taken to operate a flight by Batik Air from March 28. He said talks are in progress to operate overseas flights by SpiceJet and VietJet Air from the city to Bangkok, Dubai, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

He said the problems faced by VietJet in plying direct flights from Hyderabad and Bengaluru will not be there for Visakhapatnam service. He said, in future more international operators will introduce flights from Visakhapatnam as many are now being forced to opt for a circuitous trip for visiting America and various parts of Europe.

Air India Express operates a direct flight between Vijayawada and Sharjah. According to sources, there are efforts for introduction of connectivity to Muscat and Kuwait from Vijayawada as many travel to these places enroute Chennai and Hyderabad.

Santosh Patnaik
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