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Monday, 13 January, 2020, 15 : 30 PM [IST]

Penang in talks with Indian carriers for direct air connections

Having recorded a growth of 42% in visitors from India during 2019, the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is in talks with local carriers in India to start direct flights. Despite lack of direct air connectivity, the island destination of Penang in Malaysia has seen a monumental surge in visitors from India during 2019, said Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB). 

“From January to December 2019, Penang received 61,847 visitors from India via airports and seaports that are cruise travellers from India. This is a growth of 42% since in 2018, the figure was 43,537 visitors. Along with Malaysia Airlines, the indirect connections from Thailand and Singapore with 100 weekly flights have ensured unhindered travel to Penang. We are in talks with local Indian carriers to establish direct flights from at least one city in India since this will aid travel for business as well as leisure. Once the plan is finalised, the announcement will be made,” he said while addressing the media at the third edition of the Penang Roadshow to India at Four Seasons in Mumbai. The roadshow is also being organised in Delhi, Chennai and Kochi.  

Moreover, PCEB has launched the Penang Specialist Programme that has been designed specifically for the Indian market. “The programme is aimed at educating outbound tour operators, travel agents, wedding planners and film production companies. Besides leisure and MICE travel, we have seen a growing interest from the wedding segment in India. In fact, India is among the top 5 markets for business events in Penang, and in 2019, 4% of business events of Asia Pacific originated from India, contributing of Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 268.6 million in estimated economic impact.”

Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage is leading a delegation of 13 suppliers to engage with their Indian counterparts. Also, PCEB has extended its strategic partnership with Malaysia Airlines to continue offering competitive pricing for large travel groups. 


 
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