GEORGE TOWN: The first direct service from Shanghai, China to Penang, starting May 31 stands to boost the development of state’s business and tourism industry besides reflecting the growing ties between China and Malaysia

With Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines operating four flights per week between the cities, state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Wong Hon Wai expects the development to stimulate economic synergies between the two countries, facilitating seamless trade, investment and cooperation across various sectors.

“This Shanghai-Penang direct flight will greatly enhance convenience for passengers travelling between the two cities, particularly catering to the needs of business executives who prioritise efficiency in their travel arrangements.

“The Shanghai-Penang route will cater to the demand from travellers in the northern region of China. With the convenience of direct air connectivity, Penang is poised to attract a larger influx of tourists from Shanghai and the northern regions of China,” he said during a press conference here.

ALSO READ: Malaysia welcomes China Eastern’s inaugural flight from Kunming to KL

Wong also noted that besides boosting Penang’s hospitality sector, the new flight will also provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchange, further solidifying bilateral relations between Malaysia and China.

As of today, he said Penang has direct flight connections to 15 international cities, including Guangzhou, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Medan, Jakarta, Surabaya, Banda Aceh, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Doha and Haikou.

In terms of flight frequency, Wong pointed out that the total weekly international flights in February 2024 reached 303, surpassing the 204 flights in the same period of 2023.

“Consequently, the total international arrivals in February 2024 amounted to 148,349 passengers, reflecting thus, the total number of international arrivals in January 2024 was 145,391 passengers, showing a growth of 29.11 per cent compared to January 2023, which had 112,612 passengers,” he added. - Bernama