Malaysian budget airline AirAsia Berhad launched on Thursday (21st December) its fourth direct route between Malaysia and the Philippines.
Following the capital of the Philippines, Manila and Cebu and Kalibo, the carrier will now operate direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Davao as well.
Flights between the Malaysian capital and the city located on the island of Mindanao, on the south of the Philippines, will operate four times per week, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
In a statement about the new route, the airline said:
A send-off ceremony was held at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 today to celebrate the maiden flight, AK590, at 10.25 am, with a 100 per cent load factor. We also connect guests to other cities in the Philippines, namely Clark, Catician, Tacloban, Palawan and Tagbilaran.
Malaysian Senators Criticize AirAsia’s New Uniforms
Meanwhile, AirAsia has come under scrutiny from several Malaysian senators for the uniforms the airline issues to its female crew members.
The senators said the uniforms are “too revealing” and are in conflict with the Muslim values.
During a debate in the Malaysian parliament, Senator Abdullah May Yasim called the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAC) to conduct an investigation about this.
He was backed by Senator Mehat Zulkarnain Omardin, who said:
My wife is worried whenever I fly alone on Malindo or AirAsia. This is a real hassle for me.
Senator Abdullah added that he considers Malindo Air’s uniforms acceptable since they cover the flight attendant’s “sensitive areas” (whatever he meant by this).
Last week, the senators debated if Malaysian flight attendants should wear Shariah-compliant uniforms, according to the country’s religious standards. This is interesting, since the country advertises itself as tolerant, multiethnic and multicultural and only 61.3% of its populace is actually Muslim. The rest are Buddhists (19.8%), Christian (9.8%), Hindu (6.3%), Chinese folk religions (1.3%) and other (1.2%).
If you’re a Westerner, you probably won’t find anything wrong with either AirAsia or Firefly attendant’s uniforms and you’ll see AirAsia often featuring them (especially female ones) prominently in its marketing campaigns.