July 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm
State Health, Local Government, Consumer Affairs and Public Transportation Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said Firefly would operate daily flights for the route soon due to overwhelming response from the public since the service began last Sunday.
“We are happy with the response to the Ipoh-Singapore route served by Firefly. We understand that 85 per cent of the tickets have been booked for flights until November,” he told reporters after leading a delegation on a state government technical working visit to Singapore.
Also in the delegation were state Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology Committee chairman Mohamad Zahir Abdul Khalid and the Menteri Besar’s advisor on Indian community affairs Datuk S. Veerasingam.
Dr Mah said the flight tickets for the first two months since the service began were fully booked.
He said the service would bring in more tourists to Perak from Singapore as it would take them only one hour and 20 minutes to reach Ipoh compared to more than five hours by road.
Dr Mah said with the good response, the state government hoped that more airlines would operate at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport for routes from Ipoh and also for cargo service.
“The state government is confident of drawing more tourists to the state than the three million recorded last year and more investment, especially from Singapore, with the new service by Firefly. The state government will also negotiate with other airlines to reintroduce flights to a number of destinations like Medan and Padang in Indonesia and Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand,” he said.
During their three-day visit which ended yesterday, the delegation attended briefings and had discussions and dialogues with the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority and Land Transport Authority, and met with Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S.Iswaran.
“This has been a meaningful and productive visit as we learned from Singapore’s experience in developing the island republic, including the policies and plans,” Dr Mah said.
He said in the economic sector, 18 per cent (RM540 million) of the RM3 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year that went to Perak came from Singapore investors.
Investors could benefit from such economic sectors as the metal and shoe industries and products for the ICT industry, he said.
Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Md Hussin Nayan, said the Ipoh-Singapore air route operated by Firefly should provide a good opportunity for Perak to diversify activities in the tourism and economic sectors.
“We are proud and happy that airlines like Firefly, MAS, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines are increasing flights from or to major towns in Malaysia. With this, we hope the relevant authorities would provide better facilities for tourists and investors coming to Malaysia,” he said.