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Batik Air resumes Subang-Kuantan route after 8 years - June 4, 2023

KUANTAN: Batik Air, formerly Malindo Air, has reintroduced its Subang-Kuantan route. Currently, only Malaysia Airlines operates the Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan route, and Singapore's low-cost airline Scoot Air services the Singapore-Kuantan route.

Pahang Public Works, Transport and Health Committee chairman Datuk Mohammad Fakhruddin Mohd Ariff said Batik Air resumed flights between the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang Airport) and Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport (LTSAS) here on June 2. "Batik Air will fly in and out of Kuantan four days a week — Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  "The ATR 72-600 aircraft will be used for the route. "Previously, Malindo Air served the Kuantan route, but stopped operations in November 2015.

"On April 10, I spoke to (LTSAS manager) Muhammad Irfan Mohd Nor on getting Batik Air onboard. I am grateful to the airline for making it a reality," he wrote on Facebook. Fakhruddin said Batik Air reopening the Subang-Kuantan route provided travellers with more options and could help reduce travel time. It is understood Batik Air will depart from Subang Airport at 7am for a one-hour trip to LTSAS here before returning to Subang at 8.20am. Tourism Pahang general manager Kamaruddin Ibrahim said the return of Batik Air to Pahang was a boon for travellers. "Demand for air transport has always been high, but many people were left with limited flight options in and out of LTSAS.

"Batik Air's return will be a huge relief to the people of the state, as well as tourists. "Visitors can now travel to Kuantan from Subang and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. "Scoot Air, which resumed flights here on March 26, will fly in from Changi Airport." Kamaruddin said talks have begun with low-cost carrier Firefly to resume direct flights between LTSAS and Penang International Airport. "We hope to have a positive announcement soon. Talks will be carried out in stages."

In March, state Unity, Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Leong Yu Man said the Pahang government had initiated talks with several airlines to revive flights in and out of LTSAS to boost tourist arrivals.

Source: NST

Pahang destinations bag several tourism awards - May 15, 2023

SEVERAL destinations in Pahang won awards at the International Conference on Cultural Tourism and Education (ICCTE). Cameron Highlands Mossy Forest, Rompin State Park and Pulau Tenaga Hijau in Pulau Tioman were recipients of the Green Tourism Award at the event held in Cyberjaya, Selangor. Perkampungan Kraf Diraja Tunku Azizah in Pekan, Homestay Kampung Kuala Medang in Lipis, Kuil Sri Marathandavar Aalayam in Maran and the Sang Riang Senior Citizens’ Home in Bera took home the Cultural Tourism Award. University College of Yayasan Pahang was presented the Tourism Education Contributor Award. The ICCTE was jointly organised by the Malaysia-China Cultural Tourism Association and the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Heilongjiang Province, China.

The conference brought together 17 universities as well as over 30 corporations and organisations from Pahang, Selangor and Heilongjiang Province for dialogues, cultural tourism cooperation discussions as well as educational exchanges. In her speech at the event, state unity, tourism and culture committee chairman Leong Yu Man said the theme for Pahang’s tourism was “This Is Pahang-Unlimited”. 

“In April 2022, Malaysia opened its borders and within nine months, Pahang received 10.2 million tourists. “The number of Chinese tourists accounted for 73,520 people and it has continued to grow. “Pahang is becoming more and more popular among Chinese tourists,” Leong noted. “In addition to our beautiful islands, beaches, highlands and food, we believe that by promoting cultural tourism and education, we can also attract Chinese youths to come and explore the state. 

“These community tourism and ecotourism experiences cannot be obtained in the classroom,” she said. For 2023, Pahang aimed to attract 13 million tourists and at least 23 international tourism events would be held to draw young people from China. “We hope to continue maintaining friendly relations with China and to offer different experiences to the youths of both countries through cultural exchanges and educational connections. “Cultural tourism can also create business opportunities for our local youths and promote community development,” said Leong.

Pahang govt in talks with several airlines to revive Kuantan route - March 27, 2023

KUANTAN: The Pahang government has initiated talks with several airline companies to revive operations in and out of the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport (LTSAS) here to boost tourist arrival. State Unity, Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Leong Yu Man said that before the Covid-19 pandemic, low-cost carrier AirAsia, Firefly and Malindo Air, since rebranded as Batik Air, used to ply the Kuala Lumpur- Kuantan route. "Currently, we only have Malaysia Airlines servicing the Kuala Lumpur- Kuantan route and Singapore's low-cost airline Scoot Air servicing the Singapore-Kuantan route, and vice-versa. Talks have begun with several Malaysian airlines companies and we are hoping for progress.

"The Pahang government is trying our best to get the airlines to return and revive the routes which they once served. We understand that some delays could be caused by the airline companies flying the more popular and profitable routes," she told reporters after a welcoming ceremony to receive the first batch of 117 passengers who arrived on Scoot Air's Airbus A320 aircraft at (LTSAS) here today. Scoot resumed flights to Kuantan on Nov 30 last year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Operations were suspended last month for aircraft maintenance before resuming today. The flights, operating three times a week - Wednesday, Friday and Sunday - will depart from Changi Airport. Leong said commercial carrier SKS Airways, which is currently operating the Subang-Pulau Tioman and Subang- Pulau Redang route is also mulling introducing the LTSAS- Pulau Tioman route in the future. Meanwhile, she said tourism industry players from Singapore including travel agents and members of the media will be participating in a four-day familiarisation trip to Pahang in June this year.

"Singapore has been Pahang's biggest tourist source country, with a total of 116,220 people arriving last year. The familiarisation trip will allow us to provide updates on the latest tourist attractions and how people could spend their holidays in Pahang. "Special sessions will be arranged between the travel agents in Pahang and Singapore's tourism industry players so that it will be easier for them to coordinate the holiday trips here instead of getting in touch with agents outside Pahang to visit the state," she said. Reviving the flights between Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan and vice versa will bring huge relief to the people of the state, including tourists, as many have been left with limited flights daily plying in and out from the LTSAS. 

Source: NST

Pilot takes first step to popularise RC aircrafts, hosts international jet meeting in Rompin - April 9, 2023

ROMPIN: Darren Tiong's passion for aviation began more than two decades ago when his father gifted him a fixed-wing trainer aircraft and since then there has been "no turning back". The 37-year-old did not only grow up to explore the skies as a pilot but flew high on another turf by taking 'planes' into the air through his hobby in radio control (RC) aircraft, or RC aeromodelling. Yesterday, Tiong organised the 1st Malaysia International Invitational RC Jet Meeting at the Lanjut airstrip here which attracted more then 40 aeromodellers from five countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa.

The Sarawak-born said it was his father who sparked his interest into aircrafts and he now owns more than a dozen of the model aircrafts. "I was 13 years old when my father bought the fixed wing aircraft and that has now turned into an exciting hobby. I have been flying model jets for about 24 years and have gone to various countries for jet meetings or gatherings. "I have been a regular at the Lanjut airstrip here for flying sessions with the model jets and less than a week ago, we decided to organise the jet meeting which is the first in the country. The aeromodellers are having a field day flying their aircraft. It's the best in the country as there are no high rise buildings and it's far from residential houses," he said when met here. Tiong, who is Malaysia Aeromodelling Association president, said he hopes the jet meetings will serve as a stepping stone for people to learn more about the aviation industry and maybe pursue their interest in RC aeromodelling as a hobby. 

"A hobby in model aircraft is the first step to spark interest about aeronautical engineering and becoming pilots among children. The RC aeromodelling competition today is to give exposure and create enthusiasm among the people and hopefully put Malaysia on the world aeromodelling map. "There is a strong international community of model airplane hobbyists and the jet meeting provides has huge potential to become a major tourism event, which could help make the Lanjut airstrip and Rompin popular. RC aeromodellers were geared up to come here with their planes, so this could emerge as a new tourism product," he said, hoping for the backing from the government in future aeromodelling events. Meanwhile, Tioman assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Hussain, who was present to launch the event, said he has discussed with Tourism Pahang general manager Kamaruddin Ibrahim to look into efforts to tap into the new tourism product. "RC aeromodelling seems to be a new product with a huge following and since the flyers have already identified the 800m Lanjut airstrip as their training ground, I believe the state government must do their best to promote the event. "Apart from the famous Pulau Tioman, the waters off Kuala Rompin is popular with sailfish and marlins and we have huge groups of visitors frequenting the Rompin State Park. Now, if we can bring the RC aeromodelling on board, then there is more reason for people to visit Rompin," he said. Source - NST

Club Med Cherating is here to stay, assures its GM - March 15, 2023


KUANTAN: Club Med Cherating, the first all-inclusive resort in Asia, which has been operating in the state capital since 1979 is set to undergo refurbishment works. Newly-appointed Club Med Singapore and Malaysia general manager Olivier Monceau said there had been talks with investors on the refurbishments which would certainly be a major milestone for the resort here. "It is still too early to speak on when and how it is going to happen but knowing that the train station (East Coast Rail Link) and airport (Kuantan International Airport) is built nearby, I think it would be timely for the investors to consider the refurbishments plans. "Road transport from Kuala Lumpur takes about three and a half hours to reach the resort which is quite a distance so the major changes in transportation mode to arrive by plane or train will be a great opportunity for visitors both local and overseas. The faster we activate the refurbishments plans the better," he told reporters during an interview session at Club Med Cherating recently.

On concerns that Club Med Cherating was up for sale, Monceau said just like any other big companies or brands there were sometimes such talks. "It should not be a concern as we have been here since 1979 and we are not planning to move out from here(Kuantan). As I mentioned earlier, the airport is something everyone will have in mind (mode of transportation to lure visitors) so we will remain here," he said.

In 2021, it was reported that the resort was up for sale and the operator was looking for a strategic partner to take over the 85ha property. Meanwhile, on the impact on tourist arrival following the Covid-19 pandemic, Moncea said the Malaysia market had grown swiftly and surpassed their expectations last year. "The occupancy rate in Club Med Cherating was at 75 per cent and our main objective this year is to leverage on last year's experience to accelerate further ahead. "Club Med Cherating was fully booked on six occasions last year… it is known as renting a village where the whole place is booked. Companies brought their teams together allowing all their staff to connect with one another under one roof," he said.

Monceau said the 300 rooms resort located in a tropical forest facing the South China Sea offered a beautiful nature retreat allowing guests to be in their own private space. "We are looking at the future confidently as Club Med here has created and introduced new ideas over the years. We have the Kids Clubs which caters for kids from the age of 4 months to 17 years old where they have activities and facilities of their own to keep them occupied," he said.

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