AirAsia is boosting flights between Malaysia and China as the airline reports a significant rebound in demand for travel in the coming months.

The low-cost carrier said the load factor for both AirAsia Malaysia (AK) and AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) flights to and from China had reached around 80% in July.

Strong-performing routes include Kuala Lumpur-Shanghai, Kota Kinabalu-Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur-Nanning and Kota Kinabalu-Wuhan, AirAsia said.

China and Malaysia

Across both airlines, more than 320,000 seats have been sold between China and Malaysia since March to early July this year.

That is around a third compared to the same period pre-Covid in 2019. About 75% of the seats sold are from Chinese nationals, a signal that Malaysia continues to be one of the preferred destinations for tourists from China.

Based on the strong current and forecast demand, AirAsia Malaysia (AK) said it would resume another route from Kota Kinabalu to Hangzhou starting with three flights weekly beginning 2 September 2023.

AirAsia X Malaysia

Meanwhile, AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) will be increasing services from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing (Daxing) from four to five flights weekly beginning 1 September, from Kuala Lumpur to Shanghai from four to seven flights weekly commencing 15 September, and from Kuala Lumpur to Hangzhou from three to four flights weekly starting 30 September this year.

AirAsia Malaysia CEO, Riad Asmat, said: “We are an airline that optimises our operations based on consumer demand. Therefore, we are thrilled to witness this upsurge in travel interest between Malaysia and China. The resumption of flights from Kota Kinabalu to Hangzhou aligns perfectly with our commitment to connecting second-tier cities to the world as part of our commitment to serve the underserved.

“We are also planning to increase the frequency of this route to seven flights weekly starting in October based on demand. The enhanced connectivity will not only boost high-value travellers arrivals into Malaysia but also provide crucial support to Malaysia’s domestic travel demand. We look forward to expanding our connectivity and frequency between Malaysia and China from other hubs as well in the future.”
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