Condor airlines is to become the only German airline flying directly to Malaysia, following an agreement with Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism that will create extra capacity of 50,000 seats to the country from winter 2018.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Frankfurt at the head office of Condor, presided by Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz and Ralf Teckentrup, CEO Airlines Germany and member of the Board, Thomas Cook.
From 5th November, an Airbus A330 will make three flights a week (Sunday, Monday and Thursday) from Frankfurt to KL, putting South East Asia back on the map for the German carrier, and situating KL as a hub, with negotiations under way with local and regional airlines for seamless ongoing connections to various other destinations.
“We normally start a new route with two flights a week”, said Teckentrup, adding, “Malaysia is such a strong destination we are starting with three.”
With companies such as Etihad, Emirates and Qatar flying non-direct routes to and from Germany, the new route from Condor will renew the spirit of competition, and will assist Tourism Malaysia in reaching its goal of more than doubling the number of German visitors to the country by the year 2020, from the 130,000 recorded in 2016 (down from 140,000 in 2015 due to the withdrawal of Lufthansa from the market, and Malaysia Airlines pulling out of the German market), to 300,000 in 2020. Currently the only direct flights from Europe are with KLM, British Airways and Turkish Airlines, and a recent survey cited by the Minister found that one of the key elements in the purchasing decision of German travellers was whether a direct flight was available to the destination.
“This decision couldn’t have come at a better time”, said the Minister. “The Prime Minister recently announced 2020 was to be Visit Malaysia year, and our target is to reach 36 million visitors, up from 26.7 million in 2016.”
The Minister added, “We are proud that Condor has considered Malaysia as its next Asian destination and I assure you they have made the right decision. As Malaysia will be the Official Partner Country of ITB 2019, and promotion begins next year, this will be an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of this partnership and open the door to tour operators from all over Europe.”
Condor will be launching a promotional campaign in Germany, supported by Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airports Holdings, and Tourism Malaysia also plans to launch a number of press and trade fam tours over the next year in Germany and other parts of Europe.
The average German visitor stayed 8.1 nights in Malaysia in 2016. Germany is the number three source market in Europe for the nation, behind the UK and France.
Various packages are being studied by Thomas Cook with a number of tour operators, which will take visitors to various internal destinations on the mainland and in Borneo.
PHOTO – TOP OF PAGE: Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz (left) and Ralf Teckentrup, CEO Airlines Germany and member of the Board, Thomas Cook (right)