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BUTTERWORTH: A new local airline will operate from the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas by April.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the airline was in the final stage of obtaining the permits to set up its base at the airport.
“We hope the company can start operating by April. It will use Penang as its main hub to fly to other parts of the country and to Asean countries,” he told newsmen at the Bagan MCA division’s Chinese New Year open house yesterday.
The minister, who is the MCA deputy president, said the airport in Penang, which had the capacity to handle five million passengers annually, only handled about three million last year.
“We hope this (the new local airline) will boost the tourism industry in Penang,” he said.
Asked if the move would affect Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia, Chan said: “Healthy competition is good for the aviation industry.”
Chan said that the Penang Government was also working closely with his ministry to turn the airport into a regional hub for budget airlines.