In that regard, AirAsia has on Monday launched its first direct flight between Penang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Chief executive officer for AirAsia Aireen Omar said the company is the only carrier to offer a service of this kind, calling this a 'remarkable feat'.
Aireen also revealed some future plans for the Malaysian-based airline:
We are currently seeking to provide a direct route from Penang to Hong Kong to expand our international flights. We have also recently added direct flights from Yangon, Myanmar into Penang which will commence in March and we hope that these routes will promote more travel and trade between these two Asean cities.
We have carried about 15 million passengers since 2010 in and out of Penang and we have a market share of about 60 per cent in Malaysia.
Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng was also at the event. He expressed his wishes for more tourism and better connections between Penang and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh service will be the sixth international route out of Penang International Airport (PEN). In addition to offering flights out of the airport AirAsia also has a fully service facility there, complete with auto bag drop machines.
AirAsia X Looking to Teheran, Wants to Restore the Route
In the meantime, AirAsia X has its sights on Teheran, Iran, in the hopes of restoring flights to this city.
This was revealed by AirAsia Chief Exec Benyamin Bin Ismail, who said the following at the CAPA Iran Aviation Summit in Teheran:
We flew to Teheran in the past but had to stop due to sanctions. We are looking to come back and exploring it again. Tony (Fernandes, AirAsia co-founder and AirAsia Group CEO) sees markets like this as an opportunity… I think Iran is going to be massive for us.
Bin Ismail also revealed AirAsia X’s plans for London and Paris, which the long-haul carrier has on hold at the moment due to high oil prices:
London and Paris are still in the plans. We have options but need to make sure it doesn’t devalue our yields and that the costs make sense for us.