Malaysia’s efforts to attract larger number of Indian incentive groups received a boost with new flights introduced by IndiGo, the Indian low-cost carrier and Malindo Air, the Kuala Lumpur-based airline. IndiGo will commence new daily services linking Kuala Lumpur from New Delhi and Bangalore on November 15, becoming the only India-based airline to currently offer services to Malaysia. Previously, Air India and Jet Airways had flights to Malaysia but have since withdrawn them. Malindo Air began flight operations from October 22, flying five times weekly from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata. Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia have flights to several cities in India. The additional flights will have an impact on the outbound market, facilitating greater travel options as well as expectedly competitive fares.
Aruldas Arulandu, managing director of Tourland Travels Malaysia, said: “IndiGo has good connections within India. It will be able to carry passengers from two-tier and three-tier cities of north India to New Delhi, or travellers from southern cities and towns to Bangalore, for travel onwards to Kuala Lumpur. Being from the same airline, connecting flights to Kuala Lumpur will not cost as much as purchasing seats from two separate carriers.”
Aruldas elaborated: “The Malaysia-based airlines, be it AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines or Malindo Air, only fly to the big cities in India. Hence all this while, Indian travellers from smaller cities would have to travel to the big cities on domestic carriers, in order to fly to Kuala Lumpur.”
With a weakened Indian Rupee, travellers are more price sensitive and favourable air fares will encourage travel. Cities in close proximity to New Delhi and Bangalore, that have been increasingly generating meetings and incentives as well as leisure tourists, will now grow their outbound travel to Malaysia. The new flights reduce the cost of travel for travellers from smaller cities such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Coimbatore, Patna, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Vijayawada wanting to travel to Malaysia and it also provides healthy competition for the Malaysian carriers that fly on both New Delhi and Bangalore routes.