BUSAN (Feb 3): AirAsia Aviation Group’s medium-haul affiliate airline, AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), plans to have seven flights to Busan per week by year end to strengthen its foothold in South Korea.
In a statement on Friday (Feb 3), AAX Malaysia chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail said the carrier, which recommenced its operation in the largest coastal city in the country on the same day, currently operates three direct flights weekly from Kuala Lumpur to Busan.
“Busan play a vital role in stimulating new demand and strengthening AAX’s market leadership in North Asia through providing best-value fares and driving greater competition in the market since the inception of the route in 2013.
“Hence, we target to bring more than 200,000 guests to and from Busan, much better than the pre-pandemic level in 2019, following the reopening of international borders,” he said in conjunction with the resumption of AAX’s flight to Busan at the Gimhae International Airport.
The inaugural flight departed from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) at 2.10am, and landed at the Gimhae International Airport at 9am.
“We will continue to look for expansion opportunities in the future, and work with the Busan Tourism Organization (BTO) to promote the destination globally and invigorate the tourism industry in Busan,” Benyamin said.
Busan is the second AAX route to South Korea after flights to Seoul were launched in April last year.
Benyamin is confident that the low-cost carrier’s route to Busan will be able to reach a load factor of 85% for the first quarter this year.
As travel demand rebounds, he said several new destinations will be introduced, particularly involving the North Asian region, including major cities in China, South Korea and Japan.
Meanwhile, BTO president Jung-Sil Lee said the recommencement of this service supports the mission to build a sustainable tourism foundation, supporting the city of Busan that is renowned for its history, culture, cuisine and arts.
“Busan is named one of the 'Top 25 Best Travel Destinations in the World in 2023' by National Geographic for its vibrant cultural city and stunning tourist offerings.
“We always prepare for Malaysian visitors who are coming here, and we keep expanding our prayer places for Muslims,” he said.
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