Jul 3, 2019


SEPANG, 3 JULY 2019: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, as well as representatives from Tourism Malaysia, personally welcomed passengers aboard the inaugural Air Arabia flight upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Sharjah today.

The direct flight to Kuala Lumpur was a result of the Minister's official visit to Dubai during the Arabian Travel Mart held in April this year, whereby a joint tactical campaign agreement was signed between Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airports and Air Arabia.

This marks a very important initiative to boost travel and tourism between Malaysia and West Asia countries as Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier will help enhance more tourism traffic from Sharjah, as well as from Iraq, Egypt and other Gulf Cooperation Council markets.

The direct flight, which started from July 1, operates with the brand new Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft. The seven-hour flight flies daily with a capacity of 215 passengers on each flight.

Tourism Malaysia seeks to attract more West Asian tourists to its shores to achieve its tourism target for 2019. The tourist arrivals from West Asia have rebounded to Malaysia by 25.3% in 2018 from 251,937 to 315,937 led by the growth of Oman (+36.9%), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (11.6%) and United Arab Emirates (9.7%). Last year, Malaysia recorded RM3.1 billion in tourist receipts from West Asia, a growth of 32.9% as compared to the previous year. As of March 2019, tourist arrivals from West Asia countries to Malaysia registered a total of 65,202.

Background of Air Arabia

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), currently operates flights to more than 155 routes across the globe from four hubs located in the Middle East and North Africa. It was established on 3 February 2003 by an Amiri decree issued by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates.


For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at http://www.tourism.gov.my/

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2018, Malaysia registered 25.8 million tourist arrivals and RM84.1 billion tourist receipts, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

For press information, contact:

Muadz Samat
Assistant Director, Corporate Communication Division
Tel: +603 8891 8755

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