Tiger Airways is keen to expand its network in Malaysia due to growing demand in the tourism industry. This was announced by Tiger Airways Singapore’s managing director, Ho Yuen Sang recently.
Ho described the Malaysian destinations as “very attractive” and identified the locations of Ipoh, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Kinabalu. He added that he was studying the options to expand as it has six more aircrafts to be received by March next year.
Ipoh Echo, which has consistently been monitoring the development in the state’s tourism industry, contacted Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd Singapore for details of their Ipoh initiative.
Tiger Airways Ho responded that the airline was currently in the preliminary stages of preparations. While it had yet to apply to the local authorities, it did not anticipate any problems in attaining landing rights.
Regarding flight frequency, Ho stated that would depend on market demand and, therefore, could not confirm if they could offer daily flights.
Tiger Air will utilise Airbus A320 aircraft which has a maximum seating capacity of 180 passengers and the routing will be SIN-IPH-SIN.
Ho was unable to indicate a tentative start date as ‘we are at a very preliminary stage’ but would release more information in due course should Ipoh be added to Tiger Air’s flight network.
Meantime, a check with local tourism stakeholders received a chorus of positive responses.
Perak Tourism Association Chairman, PTA Chairman Hj Othman welcomed the initiative by Tiger Air to include Ipoh as one of its new destinations. “This is an additional opportunity for all the agents and industry players to package their products and market it to a wider market’.
Malaysian Association of Hoteliers (Perak Chapter) Chairman, Vincent Ee similarly welcomed the initiative saying it was a good indicator that the efforts of Tourism Perak VPY 2012 last year has created the awareness of Perak as a tourist destination.
Ee stated that generally 30% of Firefly’s passengers were tourists with the rest made up of returning Ipohites and business people.
As such Tiger Air’s pending entry next year is timely as it will assist to bring in more tourists and help keep hotel rooms occupied.
Ee added that Ipoh’s new airport is good but is grossly underutilised and hoped that Tiger Air or other airlines would initiate to have direct links from ASEAN destinations to Ipoh. This he said was a preference indicated by visitors to Ipoh and Perak who would rather spend more time at the holiday destination than in a means of transport taking them there.
A subsequent check up with the State Executive Councillor for Tourism Nolee Ashilin bt Dato’ Mohd Radzi confirmed that Tiger Airways had indicated their desire to fly to Ipoh. Nolee also stated that Berjaya Air and another airline from Southern China had made similar requests for landing rights in Ipoh.