AviationWhy is the airline picking up the bill for domestic airfare for international layover travellers?

Malaysia Airlines wants travellers to hop over and stopover

Malaysia Airlines' new Bonus Side Trip offer entices travellers to seven domestic destinations.
Malaysia Airlines' new Bonus Side Trip offer entices travellers to seven domestic destinations. Photo Credit: Gettyimages/galitskaya

Seven destinations in Malaysia are smiling courtesy of a Malaysia Airlines stopover promotion that holds out the promise of more visitors from Australia and New Zealand.

Malaysia Airlines’ Bonus Side Trip campaign allows passengers flying the airline via Kuala Lumpur to add an extra leg to their journey from Australia or New Zealand to experience Malaysia at minimal costs.

Malaysia Airlines will pick up the bill for the domestic airfare, leaving travellers to pay only for airport taxes.

The seven destinations on offer are Penang, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu, Alor Setar and Kuantan.

Langkawi will welcome the extra visitors, further boosting the island’s tourism sector that has been climbing back strongly since the reopening of Malaysia’s borders on 1 April.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Kedah and Perlis chapter vice-president Razmi Rahmat told Bernama that, based on his observations, tourism in Langkawi is “booming”.

The bonus offer has also been well received in Penang where Allen Tan, managing director of The Habitat Penang Hill and vice chairman of the Association of Tourism Attractions Penang, said, “This initiative by Malaysia Airlines has the potential to really benefit the tourism industry in Malaysia and particularly secondary city destinations like Penang.

“It hopefully has the effect of encouraging travellers from two our historically significant markets to return to holiday in Malaysia once again, post pandemic, and give a much-needed boost to our still fragile recovery process from the global pandemic.

“I am sure that I speak on behalf of other members of the industry here in Penang when I say kudos to Malaysia Airlines for launching this smart and targeted campaign to encourage and incentivise travellers from Australia and New Zealand to return to our shores.”

The MAS Bonus Side Trip offer is valid from now until 31 December 2022 for travel up to 31 March 2023.

Giles Gilbert, Malaysia Airlines' regional manager for Australia & New Zealand, said, “With the reopening of international borders and easing of entry restrictions for travellers, Malaysia Airlines’ Bonus Side Trip offers a superb opportunity for holiday-goers to stopover and rediscover the’ beauty of Malaysia before continuing the journey to their destination.”

To be entitled for the Bonus Side Trip, passengers must book a flight with Malaysia Airlines departing from Australia or New Zealand to one of the following destinations: Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Qatar, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and the UK.

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