“We are very excited; this is the time for us to go on holiday with our families after being confined for so long due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nurfadhilah Muhammad, 34, from Manjung, who is one of the passengers on AirAsia Airbus A320 to Langkawi.
According to her, ticket bookings were made five days ago as a getaway with her husband and three children.
“Our children have been wanting to go on holidays, so we’re using this opportunity to travel. However, we will always ensure that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are complied with for the safety of our family,” she said during an interview while waiting for departure at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS) today (September 17).
The first flight to Langkawi departed at 1.40pm with 141 adults and 23 children, arriving at Langkawi International Airport at 2.30pm.
AirAsia provides two-way flights, Ipoh-Langkawi-Ipoh, three times a week following the reopening of the tourism bubble sector.
Executive Councillor for Infrastructure, Energy, Water and Public Transport, Datuk Mohd Zolkafly Harun said based on the number of passengers who departed today, the tourism bubble pilot project received a positive reaction.
“Despite the excitement to travel, we should all keep in mind that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be adhered to for our own safety and that of others.
“COVID-19 verification tests via RT-PCR or Antigen through any public facility or private laboratory within 48 hours before the departure date is mandatory. The results must be brought along for inspection purposes at the entrance before departure.
“Visitors should also buy their own saliva self-test kit via a service that will be provided by the private sector at the screening point at the airport and ferry terminal to undergo verification there,” he said in a press conference in conjunction with the welcoming of the AirAsia Ipoh-Langkawi-Ipoh maiden flight at LTSAS today.
Also present were Perak Tourism Chief Executive, Nurmalis Musa; Public Health Medical Expert, Senior Assistant Director (Surveillance) of the Infectious Disease Control Branch (Perak State Health Department), Doctor Mohd. Zamri Md Ali and AirAsia Operations Manager, Cho Yong Khang.
Husband and wife Norsyamira Buyamin, 32, and Johan Nasser, 48, from Kampar also took the opportunity to visit Langkawi for a holiday after their last time there in 2013.
“While the government gives the opportunity for this holiday, we should make good use of it, though most importantly we have to practise strict self-care and SOPs,” Norsyamira said.