Langkawi, Kedah, is set to welcome even more tourists when award-winning airline Qatar Airways launches its first flight to the island in October.
The new service marks the airline’s third Malaysian destination, after Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The flight will run between Hamad International Airport in the capital city of Doha and Langkawi International Airport, with a short transit in Penang.
There will be 4x weekly flights (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) to Langkawi from its launch on Oct 15. This will increase to 5x weekly (additional flight on Friday) beginning Oct 27. All flights will run on the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which features 22 Business Class seats and 232 more in Economy Class.
At a press conference in KL recently, Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said that since starting its Penang service, the airline received many requests for it to include Langkawi on its route.
“Langkawi is one of the most highly sought-after destinations in Malaysia and I am certain our flights will help increase accessibility and boost inbound tourism to this beautiful archipelago,” he shared, adding that the airline is committed to growing its presence in Asia, especially South-East Asia.
“Langkawi is definitely not the last destination for us in Malaysia as we have recognised other key locations here too. But everything else is still in the planning stages,” said Al Baker.
Apart from Langkawi, Qatar Airways’ new routes this year includes Davao in the Philippines, Mogadishu in Somalia, and Izmir in Turkey. In terms of connectivity, the airline flies to more than 160 destination all over the globe.
Also at the press conference were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, CEO of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) Dr Hezri Adnan, and Qatar Ambassador to Malaysia, Fahad Mohammed Kafoud.
Hezri noted that the new service from Qatar Airways – voted “Airline of the Year” for the fifth time this year by Skytrax – is in line with LADA’s plans to further strengthen the island’s position as a top international destination. “It also augurs well for Langkawi’s economy and tourism industry as we get ready to welcome visitors from across the globe,” he said.
Hezri shared that up until June this year, Langkawi’s tourist arrival numbers reached 1.5 million. Overall, Malaysia welcomed 13.15 million international tourists in the first half of 2019, and recorded a 6.8% growth in tourist receipts (contributing RM41.69bil to the country’s revenue).
Malaysia expects to welcome 30 million tourists and garner RM100bil in tourist receipts next year, when the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign takes place.
Top 5 places to visit in Langkawi
1. Langkawi Sky Bridge
This 125m-long pedestrian bridge was built 700m above sea level, and has a curved shape. Visitors get to see magnificent views of the island from the bridge, particularly Gunung Mat Cincang and Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls.
2. Dataran Lang
Dataran Lang is a public square in Kuah that features one of Langkawi’s most prominent landmarks, a 12m-tall sculpture of an eagle. It’s the best place to take that perfect holiday shot for your social media pages.
3. Langkawi Cable Car
The popular cable car takes passengers to the top of Gunung Mat Cincang (708m), where you can get a good panoramic view of the island.
4. Underwater World Langkawi
This place houses more than 500 species of sea creatures including penguins, flamingos, Mandarin ducks and seals. Best of all, Underwater World Langkawi is just a 15-minute drive from Langkawi International Airport and is right next to the Zon Shopping Paradise.
5. Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls
This natural attraction is a big hit with the locals as it has a fascinating and mystical background story – it is said to be the home of some magical fairies. Visitors can either enjoy a cool dip in the water, or climb up to the top of the waterfalls for a little adventure.