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Tourism in Terengganu set to soar

Saturday June 13, 2009

By SHAHRIL CHE WAN

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu's tourism industry will get a boost when the low-cost carrier Firefly from Changi touches down at the Sultan Mahmud Airport on July 14. The maiden Terengganu flight will be carrying Singaporean tourists.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said Firefly will serve directs flights from here to Changi Airport beginning July 14 with three flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

With direct international flights, the state government anticipates the arrival of more Singaporean tourists to make stopovers in Kuala Terengganu before going to the islands or lakes.

"This means more money will be spent and local traders and hoteliers will profit," he said after a briefing by Firefly Sdn Bhd's managing director Eddy Leong here on Wednesday.

One for the album: Ahmad shaking hands with Leong after a briefing on Firefly's services

Ahmad said the 20 minute flight could carry 70 passengers and costs RM88 one way.

He said the state government would waive passenger tax, landing tax and parking tax for the carrier in a move to encourage more carriers to utilise Sultan Mahmud airport as their regional hub.

"Apart from Singapore, we also have plans for Terengganu-Guangzhou and Taiwan flights," he added.

Meanwhile, Leong said to enjoy the cheap fares, passengers have to make 30 days advance bookings.

The normal Kuala Terengganu-Singapore fare was priced between RM120 and RM130, he said. Leong said the new route was an addition to FireFly's current direct services from Subang Jaya Airport to Kerteh and Kuala Terengganu.

In 2008, Terengganu welcomed 3.5 million tourists, most of them Singaporeans.

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