AirAsia is spearheading the Langkawi travel bubble.
With the Langkawi travel bubble inaugurating September 16, a multitude of hospitality and logistics players are working relentlessly to ensure this pilot project will proceed smoothly and pave the way for the pioneering model to be replicated in other holiday destinations elsewhere in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s premier low-cost airline, AirAsia, announces that it plans to operate 90 domestic flights per week to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur (63 times weekly), Penang (14 times weekly), Johor Bahru (7 times weekly), Ipoh (3 times weekly) and Kota Bharu (3 times weekly).
“Since the government’s announcement of the Langkawi travel bubble’s SOP last week, we have seen very strong uptake for seats to Langkawi, especially with the RM12 low fares and RM99 snap deals by AirAsia,” says AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat.
He vows the airline will meet regulatory requirements and SOPs. Each aircraft will be sanitised while waiting for turnaround. They will undergo nightly 2-hour deep cleaning when they aren’t in use.
“There are some new approaches as to how guests will fly with us. We have implemented a lot of new technologies in the app. A person can easily perform self-check-ins and it is one of the mandatory procedures we have implemented. You can check in 14 days prior to departure so that makes the process easier,” says Riad.
“Our self-check-in system on the AirAsia Super App is our latest innovation that integrates data from certified healthcare providers to seamlessly verify a guest’s travel eligibility based on their test certificate and/or vaccination certificate.”
He advises passengers to arrive at the airport early so they have ample time to undergo more rigorous pre-flight procedures put in place since the onset of Covid-19.
“Other than that, you are encouraged to use contactless kiosks at the airport; you will still need to wear face masks throughout the journey,” says Riad.
AirAsia Super App
Empowered by AirAsia, duty-free shopping in Langkawi will experience a seismic transformation this month-end.
“By the end of September, for the first time in Malaysia, customers will be able to order duty-free products online and have them delivered to their hotel the same day, via Teleport’s 6-hour express service,” says AirAsia Super App CEO Amanda Woo, adding shoppers can select their preferred delivery time or engage concierge services to receive on their behalf.
By integrating AirAsia Ride, the airline’s e-hailing arm, visitors can expect a seamless journey to and from the airport. Initially available only in the Klang Valley, AirAsia Ride will expand into Langkawi starting September 16.
“Last week we managed to get a couple of hundreds of drivers signing up with us in Langkawi,” says Amanda, adding the next city on the radar of AirAsia Ride is Penang.
Police permits required?
Langkawi Development Authority CEO Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib clarifies that thanks to direct flights, travellers don’t need to obtain special permissions from the police. Nasaruddin’s comment corroborates with the tweet sent out by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on September 12, emphasising travellers arriving in Langkawi by aircraft require no police approval.
Bagi program perintis pelancongan ‘travel bubble’ Langkawi: Hanya pelancong yang menggunakan pengangkutan darat dari luar negeri sahaja diperlukan mendapat surat dari PDRM bagi tujuan rentas negeri dan SJR. Pelancong yang menggunakan pesawat udara tidak perlu surat polis.
— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) September 12, 2021
“Our target is to welcome 400,000 visitors in the remaining 3.5 months of 2021,” says Nasaruddin, adding occupancy rates for 4- and 5-star properties stand at 50%.
Since launching the flight promo for the Langkawi travel bubble, Riad reveals the response has been encouraging. “We sold almost 30,000 tickets on the first day and by now, we are reaching nearly 200,000,” he says.