Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the airline would operate four flights per week between Kuala Lumpur and Brisbane, with more than 60,000 additionalseats a year forecast for the new route.
Ms Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Tourism Australia and Brisbane Airport Corporation had successfully secured the flights through the Palaszczuk Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
“Welcoming this international airline back to Queensland is a major coup for our state’s tourism industry, injecting millions into the economy and supporting up to 240 jobs annually,” Ms Jones said.
“This route gives travellers the opportunity to pick Queensland as their gateway to Australia.
“These flights will help us grow our share of key Asian and European markets by tapping into Malaysia Airlines’ extensive network.
“Malaysia is a growing market for international tourists but more importantly, this route gives us a base in Kuala Lumpur which is a thriving international hub that will give us better access to a large number of growing visitor markets throughout Asia.
“Travellers will also be able to connect easily to many iconic destinations across Queensland like the Great Barrier Reef, our world-heritage listed rainforests, our iconic beaches and the Outback.”
Ms Jones said Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry has gone from strength to strength under the Palaszczuk Government.
“We’re committed to securing more direct flights to because we know how important it is to improve access to Queensland,” she said.
“That’s why we’re investing $48 million in our Attracting Tourism Fund in this term of government.
“When it comes to tourism, the Palaszczuk Government has the runs on the board – in our last term of government we attracted more than 740,000 seats in direct flights worth $570 million a year for our state.”
Malaysia Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Arved von zur Muehlen said Australia was one of the airlines biggest markets, including Brisbane, Australia’s third most populous city.
“We are excited to be returning to Brisbane to offer passengers better connectivity with our four times weekly direct flights into the city. At the same time, this is to also encourage passengers to explore Malaysia, which is famous for its rich attractions,” Mr Muehlen said.
“Our service goes beyond just providing airline travel. We have recently embarked on a brand refresh centred around Malaysian Hospitality. Malaysian Hospitality is what Malaysia Airlines has been long known for—a warm and genuine service which reflects Malaysian culture and traditions.
“We are also committed to building a consistent delivery of exceptional service across all customer touch-points via our latest products and services superior inflight features including lie-flat seats on business class, inflight entertainment, and a wide variety of food incorporating the elements of best of Malaysia aimed at enhancing our passenger’s travel experience.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said Malaysia continues to be a significant source of visitors to Australia, contributing around 400,000 visitors annually.
“These new services will be crucial in opening up Brisbane and Queensland more broadly to Malaysian travellers so we can continue to grow this important tourism market,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Julieanne Alroe welcomed Malaysia Airlines’ return to Queensland saying the benefits of the new non-stop flights and direct connection to Kuala Lumpur will ripple across the state.
“Every new airline and international destination on our network positively impacts all sectors of the economy, supporting business, trade and freight throughout Queensland, boosting opportunities for tourism and education, further building Brisbane’s reputation as a major Asia Pacific centre and Australia’s future gateway city,” Ms Alroe said.
“This is not a new partnership we’re celebrating today, Malaysia Airlines has been a part of the Brisbane Airport family since 1972, so today’s re-launch is about rekindling a very strong, long-term partnership and celebrating future success and opportunities between Queensland and Malaysia.”