Malaysia in talks with India, China to add more routes

SEPANG: Malaysia is in talks with India and China to expand new air routes in a bid to boost its tourism market and increase passenger movements, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the talks were necessary as Malaysia regarded both India and China as the main drivers of the Asian aviation industry with the potential market to turn the KL International Airport (KLIA) into the Asean hub.

The Transport Ministry is currently in discussion with Indian Civil Aviation Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapati Raju and authorities to increase international routes and seats, he added.

“We are happy that we’d got 2,000 additional seats. Now we are asking for another 40,000 or more seats. Our talks will continue with the Indian government and we are confident that this will boost our tourism market,” he told reporters after witnessing the presentation of the klia2 Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in Sepang on Tuesday.

The certificate, which is based on standards set by the United States Green Building Council, was presented by klia2 LEED sustainable advisor Dr Puteri Shireen Jahn Kassim to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd

Liow said AirAsia was making inroads into India and China as both markets were experiencing a double-digit growth in the aviation industry.

“However, it is difficult to penetrate the Indian market due to their (restrictive) National Civil Aviation Policy. It was so difficult. Since we have good bilateral ties, I had asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to speak to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to ask India to open up more routes.

“Currently, Malaysia is flying to major cities in India, namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Kolkata,” he said.

On another note, he said Malaysia Airports’ network of airports recorded 64 million passenger traffic movements from January to August this year.

Earlier in his speech, Liow said the klia2 terminal, the second KLIA terminal, was the first airport to earn the prestigious Gold LEED Building certification in South-East Asia, and the fourth in Asia.

“This certification is in line with the government’s agenda for sustainable development initiative to promote green technology in transportation.

“This is a testament and recognition to MAHB to ensure that the terminal was developed on green concept based on its design, operation and implementation for improved environmental (sustainability),” he said.

Meanwhile, Syed Zainol Anwar said the klia2 terminal was practising a rainwater harvesting system that collected rain to be treated, saving the airport 9% in water consumption, which was equivalent to RM215,000 per year.

He said green features such as low-emissivity glazing, high-solar reflecting roof, LED lighting, jet diffusers and variable air volume cooling had also led to electricity savings of 75, which was equivalent to 3.082 carbon dioxide emissions from 2015 to 2016.

“We are in tandem with the Government’s commitment to reduce carbon emission intensity by 45% by 2030,” he said, adding the Gold LEED accredition was an important milestone in the organisation’s pursuit for environmental excellence and a sustainable future. – Bernama

Source : The Star

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