AviationAviation wrap: From Scootin’ with Pokémon to Japan to Tourism Malaysia striking a deal with Qatar Airways.

Scootin' up APAC's top aviation news this week

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Scoot's Pokémon Air Adventures takes off for Japan.
Scoot's Pokémon Air Adventures takes off for Japan.

The Pokémon Company has marked its strategic partnership with Scoot airline with the launch of its Pokémon Air Adventures

Pikachu Jet TR will showcase a unique livery and themed inflight amenities and experience, including Pikachu-related merchandise. 

The partnership with Scoot marks the first ASEAN airline outside of Japan to launch an original Pokémon-themed livery.

Scoot’s planned flight routes for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner within Asia will include Tokyo (Narita) and Seoul from 9 September. 

The fixed flight routes for the Pokemon-themed flights will rotate every two to three months. 

As part of the rollout of Pokémon Air Adventures in Singapore, a special Pikachu Weekend is scheduled for November, including a night show and Pokémon GO event.

Bangkok better connected Down Under

Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia X will fly between Bangkok and Melbourne and Sydney from early December.

The Bangkok-Sydney route will fly four times weekly, departing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while the Bangkok-Melbourne (Tullamarine) service will operate three times per week on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

The Thai AirAsia X two-class services will use 377-seat Airbus A330 planes.

In addition, Thai AirAsia X will resume flights between Bangkok and Sapporo in September, and Osaka Kansai in October.

Sri Lankan Airlines’ stake up for grabs

The Sri Lankan government will seek investors for a 49% stake in its national carrier.
The Sri Lankan government will seek investors for a 49% stake in its national carrier.

The Sri Lankan government is getting ready to sell a significant stake in its national airline, although finding an investor for a 49% share might be challenging, given recent political upheaval in the country and its impact on the island’s tourism industry.

Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said restructuring of the airline was “essential as the government can no longer afford to inject money into running the airline”.

De Silva told local media: “There are many rich people in Sri Lanka, they can come together as a syndicate or with airlines and offer a bid.”

In 2008, Emirates walked away from a management contract for Sri Lankan, citing government interference in running the airline. Emirates later sold its 43.63% stake in Sri Lankan.

Tourism Malaysia and Qatar Airways have agreed a joint promotion which the tourism body hopes will drive more international visitor traffic to Malaysia, including visitors from Europe and the US.

Malaysia’s minister of tourism, arts and culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the strategic cooperation will “increase the awareness of our attractions and more initiatives will take place to help to boost tourist arrivals to Malaysia”.

KLM flies back to Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta 
After suspending flights for two and half years due to the Covid crisis, KLM will resume flights from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, effective during the winter 2022-2023 schedule, starting 31 October.

From Kuala Lumpur, KLM will operate four flights weekly to Amsterdam using a Boeing 777-200. 

From Jakarta, KLM offers four weekly flights that stop in Kuala Lumpur and then onwards to Amsterdam. The airline has fifth freedom rights on the Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur sectors open for local sales.

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