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LAHORE: Malindo Air, which has started its direct flights to Lahore, plans to expand next to Islamabad and Karachi.

CEO Chandran Rama Muthy said the airline would also consider increasing its flights to Lahore.

“We have started our four-times weekly flights. We plan to increase them to daily flights,” he said after arriving here on the hybrid airline’s inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

He said Pakistan International Airlines now offered twice weekly flights on the Kuala Lumpur-Lahore route.

Read: Landing rights given to 108 foreign airlines in 2015

Chandran said Malaysians and transiting passengers from other Malindo Air destinations such as Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand or China could now look forward to a seamless connectivity to Lahore via Kuala Lumpur.

“This will contribute to our objective of hyping up KL International Airport (KLIA) as an important transit and tourism hub in the region.”

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, who was also on the inaugural flight, said more tourists from Pakistan were expected to visit Malaysia following the introduction of the direct flight.

He said no Malaysian airline flew to Pakistan since Malaysia Airlines stopped its flights to the country four years ago.

“There are a lot of economic opportunities here that have not been explored by Malaysians,” he said, pointing out that Axiata would be coming to Pakistan for a business venture.

According to Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Datuk Hasrul Sani Mujtabar, about 80,000 people visit Malaysia annually.

Shaheen Foundation Air managing director Marshal Jamshed Khan said Allama Iqbal International Airport had more than 100 flights weekly.

Malindo Air is the only Malaysian-based airline to fly direct to Lahore from Kuala Lumpur. The flight departs from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

It departs from KLIA2 at 5.30pm, arriving at the Allama Iqbal International Airport at 8.15pm. The return flight departs from Lahore at 9.05pm and arrives at KLIA2 the next day at 5.50am. One-way fares start from RM759 for economy class and RM1,849 for business class.

By arrangement with The Star/ANN