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Bali and Malaysia are emerging as strong contenders for UAE travellers this summer despite flight ticket rates rising to their highest levels in two years. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: AirAsia X, the long-haul unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia, will operate flights from Kuala Lumpur to London, Dubai, and Istanbul this year.

With this, AirAsia X is now offering flights across seven popular routes from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi, Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, and from Osaka to Honolulu.

“The resumption of four popular medium-haul routes and announcement of three new long-haul services today is a significant milestone following the most challenging time in aviation history,” said Datuk Meranun, Executive Chairman of Capital A and Founder of AirAsia X.

“We are thrilled to return to London and to launch flights for the first time to Dubai and Istanbul,” said Mernanun.

The airline’s announcement comes as Malaysia aims to attract eight million visitors in 2022, compared to about four million in 2021.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, travel and tourism were one of the major contributors to Malaysia’s economy, with a contribution of 15.9 per cent to the country’s economy and roughly 24 per cent of the total employment in 2019. In the same year, Malaysia received 26.1 million inbound tourist arrivals and RM86 billion in tourism revenue.

Bali and Malaysia are emerging as strong contenders for UAE travellers this summer despite flight ticket rates rising to their highest levels in two years.

“We are back, better, and stronger than ever. We have spent the downtime in flying reviewing every aspect of the operation to deliver even greater value and choice for medium and long-haul travel,” said AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail. “We have many more destinations in the pipeline which we will announce soon, to meet strong pent-up demand.”

Ismail expects the carrier to return to pre-COVID capacity on some of its key routes within the next 12 months. “As our services grow, we will continue to bring our fleet of aircraft out of hibernation and, we can look forward to gradually bringing our valued pilots and cabin crew who were on furlough back.”