Malaysia’s Batik Air has announced plans to commence direct flights to Maldives. Starting from 23 June, the airline will operate three weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Velana International Airport with its 737 MAX 8s aircraft.
Starting from 12 May, Batik will also launch a daily Kuala Lumpur-Colombo-Malé route, resuming its flights to Colombo for the first time since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
The airline will compete with AirAsia, which offers eight round trips per week between Kuala Lumpur and Malé. Other airlines with daily flights for the Colombo-Malé route include Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates, flydubai, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
Malaysia is also a top target for Maldives tourism as the industry seeks to boost arrivals from new source markets. In 2022, the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation conducted a ‘cabvertising’ campaign in Malaysia and participated in the MATTA Fair 2022 in Kuala Lumpur.
The MMPRC was pursuing “a strategy to reorient the perception of Maldives solely as a honeymoon luxury destination by focusing on resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards, and hotels, as well as the unique experiences travelers can have in the Maldives,” the government company explained at the time.