by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by TMR FILE
LOCAL and Singapore-based airlines have started to increase its flights to Malaysia and Singapore with the opening of Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) next Monday.
Malaysia Airlines Bhd and Singapore Airlines (SIA) will reactivate their codeshare arrangement between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and expand it to include 15 domestic points in Malaysia, seven destinations in Europe and two cities in South Africa.
Both airlines said in a joint statement last Friday that this follows the (VTL) arrangement beginning Nov 29, providing customers with seamless journeys for their business or leisure travel.
The airlines said the substantial expansion of the codeshare arrangements, within Malaysia and beyond the two countries, comes amid the gradual reopening of international borders and an increase in the demand for air travel.
SIA said in a media statement last Thursday that it will operate 10 weekly return services between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur under the travel lane.
The flights will be plying between the two airports from Nov 29 to March 26 onwards.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, there will be six daily flights between Changi Airport in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
AirAsia said on Saturday that it will operate a seven times weekly flight schedule from klia2 and Changi Airport beginning Nov 29, 2021.
The budget carrier said more routes from other cities in Malaysia will be added and frequencies increased accordingly as travel demand grows in line with the reopening of more leisure destinations in the near future, subject to approval from the authorities.
AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said the resumption of travel to Singapore signifies great progress of international travel in the region.
Singapore’s Scoot airlines is increasing passenger services between Singapore and KL with the addition of four-times weekly designated for the VTL flights.
Scoot’s designated VTL flights, TR472/TR473 between Singapore will commence from Nov 29, 2021, applicable at Changi Airport and klia2.
The VTL flights will be operated by Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners promising the added widebody comfort in both economy and ScootPlus cabins.
For the transit passengers, Scoot will also be operating seven non-designated VTL flights between Singapore and KL, on Scoot’s Airbus A320 aircraft, connecting to/from Scoot’s network via Singapore.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad had, on Nov 18, said the VTL via the Causeway and Second Link will be opened simultaneously with the air VTL on Nov 29.
It was also reported the initial phase of the land VTL would be opened to those using public transport such as trains and buses, as it will be easier to manage instead of allowing people to drive their own cars and motorcycles across the borders.
Singapore’s co-chair of MultiMinistry Taskforce on Covid-19 Gan Kim Yong told a press conference on Saturday that it will be able to launch the land VTL with Malaysia “at the end of this month close to the launch of the air VTL” which is scheduled on Nov 29.
“It is also possible that we may be able to do so on the same day,” he said.
Gan added that the details are still being worked out.
“We hope to be able to share the plans sometime next week so that there will be time for Singaporeans who want to travel to make the necessary arrangements,” he said.