‘The trend of eco travel likely to continue in 2023’ – BW Hotelier

In the recent years, Malaysia Airlines has been continuously expanding, now having a network that spans 1,000 destinations in over 170 territories. The national carrier of Malaysia has, in fact, recently also been awarded as the airline with the Best Seat Comfort in Eastern Asia at the 2023 Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Passenger Choice Awards and is celebrating 35 years of its Frequent Flyer Programme. Amid this, BW HOTELIER spoke to Amit Mehta, Country Manager-South Asia of Malaysia Airlines on his expectations from the festive season, the expected trends in the coming year and expansion plans. Edited excerpts:
What are your expectations from the last quarter of the year and the festive season?
With more tourist destinations gradually easing restrictions, we remain bullish that travel demands will continue to improve. We are gradually increasing our frequencies and network as we aim to achieve more than 70 per cent of pre-COVID-19 capacity for domestic and international travel by the end of 2022.
With pressure on fuel prices and market fluidity, our priority will be in proactively managing our capacity to mitigate unprofitable routes. We are cautious of potential downsides and market fluidity and are taking steps to cushion the impact they may have on our businesses.
Do you have any campaigns/offers around the festive period to encourage customers to travel?
We aim to make travelling a seamless experience for all. Earlier this year we relaunched our Bonus Side Trip programme that allows passengers to add an extra leg to their journey by exploring the domestic wonders of Malaysia at minimal costs. With travel demands continuing to pick up and many planning for year-end getaway, we encourage passengers to take advantage of this unique offer and make the most out of their itinerary.
Additionally, with programmes like MHholidays, travellers can seamlessly plan their next vacation via a single platform that enables them to select and customise their getaways, which can include flights, lodging, ground transfer services, and holiday packages.
Travelling can also be rewarding beyond just airline perks. Our travel and lifestyle loyalty programme, Enrich, offers a wide variety of ways for members to earn and redeem Enrich Points, including through flights and a host of lifestyle partners, including F&B, hotel stays, spas, premium retail brands and even point conversions with other loyalty programmes.
In your opinion, what are the travel trends for 2023?
The airline industry is seeing indications that many more people are now flying for work, and we expect that momentum to build next year. The expanding business scene in India is expected to boost business travel as well.
Eco-travel, or sustainable tourism, was a big trend in 2022 and will likely carry over into 2023. Consumers are also becoming more climate conscious, especially the younger generation, with emphasis on sustainable and eco-friendly travel decisions. They are asking for information on carbon emissions and how to offset them to make their trips more sustainable. Therefore, travellers can be expected to lean towards more eco-friendly travel options in the future, such as options for carbon offsetting or use of sustainable aviation fuel.
Apart from that, a recent research shows that there will be an increase in spontaneous travel which effectively means travellers will be looking for last-minute deals. This will ensure players across the tourism industry, including airlines, will continue to launch campaigns, experiences and deals that excite and encourage customers to choose their business.
A recent report says that Outbound trips from India will surpass USD 42 billion by 2024. How do you see the opportunities for Malaysia?
India has always been a key market for us, and we will continue to leverage on this opportunity by gradually increasing our capacity and network from both countries. The Outbound Travel and Tourism – An Opportunity Untapped report also stated that Europe sees 20 per cent of the travellers from India’s outbound traffic, while 10 per cent travel to Australia and New Zealand, and the rest of the traffic is towards Southeast Asia.
Many Indian tourists favour Southeast Asian countries for their travels, with Malaysia being one of their top choices due to its proximity to India, the consequent reduction in travel time as well as its melting pot of multicultural offerings which are not too dissimilar with Indians in terms of culture and food, and the familiarity factor gives a feeling of safety.
To ensure that customers enjoy our inimitable Malaysian hospitality, we constantly develop and improve our products and offerings. various fare families and products that offer highly flexible and convenient perks, including free flight changes, in response to the increasing demand from travellers for greater flexibility in their itinerary.
Our Horizontal Fare Family (HFF) offers customers a flexible fare based on their travel needs, preferences, priorities, and purchasing capabilities consisting of Lite, Basic, and Flex where each fare family has different benefits such as baggage allowance, seat selections and priority services.
When do you expect to achieve the pre-pandemic capacity in India?
We are looking at achieving pre-pandemic capacity back for India by end of the year by deploying fleet and network expansion opportunistically during peak periods to service high demand/capacity sectors.
Your views on the current status of connectivity with Indian cities and your expansion plans.
Malaysia Airlines has reinstated its scheduled commercial services from India with 31 weekly flights from five major cities, namely New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. By December 2022, we will ramp up the weekly flights on the existing routes and also reinstate weekly flights from Kochi, which will increase the overall weekly flights from India to 52.
We are continuously reviewing the opportunities in the Indian market and will gradually add new routes, increase frequencies or upgrade aircraft wherever needed to meet these demands especially during peak travel periods.

BW Communities is an array of business news websites targeted towards niche communities and readers across various industries
Read More »
Read More »
Read More »
Read More »
Read More »
Read More »
© Copyright BW BWHOTELIER 2015. All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *