KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — AirAsia expects a strong recovery for air travel in all key domestic destinations and for international flights to resume in the near future, complemented by stringent health and safety protocols that the airline has put in place.
In a statement today, AirAsia said following the government’s announcement of the resumption of interstate travel and the reopening of tourism activities once the vaccination rate for adults reaches 90 per cent in Malaysia, the budget carrier is geared up to fully restore its domestic and international services.
“This is further spurred by the success of the Langkawi travel bubble that commenced on Sept 16,” it said.
The airline has recorded overwhelming demand for domestic leisure destinations that have reopened recently, including Langkawi (Malaysia), Boracay, Cebu and Bohol (the Philippines), and Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai (Thailand).
“Load factors for these leisure destinations have been in the healthy range of 80-90 per cent with more frequencies and routes to be added soon in line with consistently strong forward bookings.
“As vaccination rates across the globe continue to rise, AirAsia anticipates interstate leisure air travel will gradually continue to reopen first, potentially in the coming weeks, and international travel could resume within the next few months, especially in the ASEAN region where inoculation rates are accelerating and the airline is fully ready to welcome guests with the highest safety standards,” it said.
To ensure safety for its guests and employees, and as part of its COVID-19 mitigation plan, AirAsia said it has made self-check-in mandatory for all guests.
AirAsia group president (Airlines) Bo Lingam said for Langkawi alone, AirAsia Malaysia has sold over 260,000 seats in just over a week, which is a strong testament to the level of pent-up demand for domestic travel.
“The demand is already there as people can’t wait to reunite with friends and family or take off to their favourite leisure destinations.
“What we have been promoting is for countries across ASEAN and beyond to have a standardised approach, which permits vaccinated individuals to travel freely and safely between countries without the need for quarantine or a tedious approval process,” he said.