So for those asking when will the leading South East Asia Low Cost Carrier Air Asia will landed at Batu Berendam Airport . News below from the Star online will give you the hint.
Friday April 3, 2009
By CHEN PELF YEEN
MALACCA: The Malacca government is set to hold talks with AirAsia in the next two weeks to look at the possibility of the low-cost carrier using the extended Batu Berendam Airport by December.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the RM131mil project to upgrade the airport was almost completed with operations scheduled to begin in mid April.
“Work to extend the runway will be carried out and completed in October.
“Once this is done, the airport can handle Airbus A-320 and Boeing 737s with full passanger load,” he told reporters after visiting the project site in Batu Berendam on Tuesday. This is because the extended 1.8km runway will be able to cater only to half-loaded planes as it is currently short of the 2.135km length needed for fully-loaded planes. This, however, will change in October with the additional extension.
Mohd Ali said the state would hold a second round of talks with AirAsia to persuade the company to use the airport in May, although the runway would be able to take only half-loaded planes until the runway extension was completed.Last August, the state held talks with AirAsia on the use of the airport as a low-cost carrier hub, particularly to promote medical tourism.
However, AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandez agreed in principle only to use the airport on six routes, with special packages promoting Malacca and Penang as World Heritage Site destinations.The routes would also cover Langkawi and Indonesian destinations such as Medan, Pekan Baru, Palembang, and Padang.Following this, the state requested an additional RM62mil from the Federal Government for further extension of the runaway.
Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said that Riau Air would be among the first airlines to use the airport when the new terminal opens later this month.Besides being crucial for tapping Malacca’s World Heritage Site status, the airport would boost medical-tourist arrivals, which totalled over 60,000 last year.