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Malaysia Welcomes Turkmenistan Airlines’ Inaugural Flight from Ashgabat to Kuala Lumpur Expanding Central Asian Connectivity

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SEPANG, 15 February 2024 – Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) joyously welcome the inaugural flight of Turkmenistan Airlines from Ashgabat to Kuala Lumpur. This marks the second airline from Central Asia to offer direct flights to Kuala Lumpur.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dato Sri Tiong King Sing and Ambassador of Turkmenistan in Malaysia, His Excellency, Mr Muhammetnyyaz Mashalov, along with representatives from Turkmenistan Airlines, graced the occasion, joining the 228 passengers on their arrival. The aircraft received a grand water cannon salute while models adorned in the national costumes of both countries greeted the passengers.

The twice-weekly scheduled flights are operated by Boeing 777-200LR/777-300ER aircraft, boasting seating capacities of 289 and 368, respectively. Departing from Ashgabat every Wednesday and Thursday, this new connectivity is poised to significantly enhance arrivals from Central Asia and Russia, facilitating seamless travel between regions. The flight duration from Ashgabat to Kuala Lumpur is a mere 8 hours and 10 minutes, offering passengers swift and convenient access to Malaysia’s vibrant capital.

In line with the commitment to expanding tourism accessibility, Tourism Malaysia is actively pursuing strategic collaborations with international airlines, aiming to stimulate increased travel demand from Central Asia through innovative partnerships and initiatives. This effort aligns with Malaysia’s target of welcoming 35.6 million tourists during Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

In the period from January to November 2023, Malaysia experienced a notable surge in tourism from Central Asia, welcoming a total of 21,910 tourists, reflecting a remarkable 196.7% increase compared to 2022. Concurrently, arrivals from Russia also soared, with Malaysia hosting 100,645 Russian visitors during the same period. This represents a staggering 360% surge from 2022 and a notable 39.5% increase compared to pre- pandemic levels in 2019.

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