Malaysian airline Malindo Air has received a nod from the government in Saudi Arabia to connect Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur. The 11 times weekly service was officially announced on 19th November, but a specific date as to when the first passengers will be flown is not yet revealed.
Chandran Rama Muthy, Chief Executive Officer at Malindo Air said:
The route is important to the high passenger-load factor. We want to tap on this segment as thousands of Muslims from Malaysia perform the umrah in Mecca annually.
According to statistics, up to 100,000 Muslims from Malaysia perform their umrah in Mecca every year. In addition, Saudi Arabian tourists spend RM8,000 in average per person per trip in Malaysia.
The airline announced that it will use wide-body aircrafts on the route, but declined to say if these will be Airbus or Boeing.
New Plans for Australia
Meanwhile, as the company CEO said, Malindo could also start flying to more Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. At the moment, the carrier only flies to Perth from Kuala Lumpur.
The carrier is close to making this decision after KL-Perth route received positive response from customers.
In addition, Chandran also said Malindo Air will commence a new service to Hong Kong, several cities in southern China and Thailand in the next year, as well as Kuala Lumpur-Colombo as of December this year.
We have carried about four million passengers since we took to skies in 2013, we are confident our reaching the six million mark and 2016 is going to be a profitable year for us.
He also said that, since the domestic market is already saturated, Malindo will focus more on China, India and Asean markets.
At the moment, Malindo operates 800 flights every week to Malaysia, Australia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Singapore and Nepal, and is using 16 Boeing 737NG and 11 ATR72-600 aircraft.