by TMR/ pic by MALINDO
MALINDO Airways Sdn Bhd has launched its inaugural flight to India’s sacred city of Varanasi on July 18, 2019.
India High Commission to Malaysia, counsellor of community affairs, education and labour Nishit Kumar Ujjwal, and Malindo Air GM of operations Mark Anthony were present at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to send off flight OD290.
Upon its arrival at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, the aircraft was celebrated with a water cannon salute, followed by a welcoming ceremony to the passengers at the arrival gate.
Malindo Air CEO Chandran Rama Muthy said India is a significant market to the airline.
“Varanasi has the added advantage in terms of demand, as it is also primarily a sacred pilgrimage destination for Hindus around the world. We are honoured to be the only Malaysian carrier operating directly between Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Varanasi.
“I believe our objective is in line with our government’s tourism and economic agenda, which is to entice more visitors into Malaysia, hence, boosting economic conditions and increasing passengers’ arrivals at KLIA, which is envisioned to be the main regional hub of Asia,” he said.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd CEO Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin congratulated Malindo Air on the launch of the new destination, saying it was the first in Malaysia and fourth in the South-East Asia region to introduce this route.
“This means we can expect a further increase in passenger movements at KLIA. The total number of arriving and departing passengers that Malindo served for its India routes via KL grew by 4.3% between January and June this year compared to the same period in 2018.
“Not only that, KLIA itself also saw an overall year-to-date 6.1% increase in passenger movements for the India routes compared to the previous year. Therefore, I am positive that Malindo Air will do very well with the introduction of this new flight route,” he added.
Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India, located at the banks of the Ganges River in Northern India. The sacred water of Ganges River attracts Hindu pilgrims to bath and perform funerals rites.
It is the 10th city that Malindo Air flies to after Amritsar, New Delhi, Kochi, Mumbai, Tiruchirappali, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai (code share with Batik Air).
Malindo Air flies to Varanasi with flight code OD290, while from there to KL with flight code OD291. Flights are scheduled three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.