Selangor Journal
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook. at the Routes Asia 2024 launch in Langkawi on February 27, 2024 — Picture by BERNAMA

Malaysia to bid to host Routes World, says Transport Minister

LANGKAWI, Feb 27 — Malaysia aims to bid for hosting Routes World, underscoring its dedication to becoming a hub for global aviation discussions, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

He said that Malaysia’s deep commitment to advancing the aviation sector and fostering better connections within the region is crucial for strengthening economic and cultural ties.

“Malaysia takes great pride in having been the host of numerous significant events within the aviation industry. We were the first country to host Routes Asia in Kuala Lumpur for three years running from 2003 to 2005,” he said in his keynote speech at the launch of Routes Asia 2024 here today.

He also highlighted that Malaysia’s strategic geographic location, modern infrastructure, and the increasing demand for air travel have positioned the country as a key player in the aviation industry.

“The Malaysian Aviation Commission forecasts that Malaysia’s air passenger traffic is expected to reach between 93.9 million and 107.1 million passengers in 2024, reflecting a growth of 10-25 per cent year-on-year.

“This puts us on a trajectory towards full recovery this year based on the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, “ he said.

Looking ahead, Loke said for the aviation sector, it is imperative to acknowledge the global changes and the critical role the transport sector plays in adapting to these changes.

“We are at a critical juncture, and the Malaysian government aims to provide support to existing and new airlines, fostering a resilient and dynamic aviation environment.

“Additionally, the timing of Routes Asia 2024 aligns strategically with our plans for Visit Malaysia Year 2026 in which we aim to attract 26.1 million foreign tourists to Malaysia,” he said.

While Malaysia is expected to welcome another four new airlines from Cambodia, China and India by the end of the second quarter of this year, Loke said the government is also optimistic to see more airlines from Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East by the end of the year.

“As we actively pursue the growth and expansion of the aviation industry within the region, it is also crucial that we ensure this development occurs efficiently and sustainably.

“A holistic approach from the onset, be it in the skies or on the ground, not only addresses the urgent need to combat climate change but also ensures the long-term viability and resilience of the aviation sector in our region,” he added.

— Bernama

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