United Kingdom’s flagship airline British Airways landed at KLIA earlier today, completing its inaugural flight of the recently reinstalled Kuala Lumpur – London direct route, which comes more than a decade since it last served this route in 2001.
The service, which flies direct daily, will be operated by a four-cabin Boeing 777-200ER, with a capacity of 291 people.
“As Malaysia’s economy grows, it is becoming an even more important trading partner with the UK, and Britain has long been a favourite destination for Malaysians to shop, to experience historical sites and culture, and to study. There’s no better time to fly with British Airways to London and beyond,” commented Jamie Cassidy, British Airways’ Area General Manager for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
This new development bodes well for Malaysia’s tourism industry, of which the United Kingdom has always been a major market. Last year, Malaysia received almost 450,000 tourist arrivals from the UK, and with the resumption of this direct route, that number is expected to jump to 500,000 this year.
“I am encouraged by the return of this direct route, which demonstrates British Airways’ confidence in Malaysia’s tourism industry. Connectivity is the heart of tourism, and I am sure that the reestablishment of this direct route will help increase tourist arrivals and receipts between our two nations,” said Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia at the welcoming ceremony earlier today.
Among the passengers of this inaugural flight was a delegation of 22 people consisting of VIPs from British Airways and media representatives from UK and Europe. They received a warm welcome by the Deputy Minister of Transport Malaysia, YB Dato’ Aziz Kaprawi, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports, Y.Bhg Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, as well as Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Mirza.
After the event, the delegation will attend familiarisation tours hosted by Tourism Malaysia to various tourist destinations around the country, namely Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Pulau Pangkor and Pulau Pinang.
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