Low-cost carrier AirAsia X has received Malaysian government approval to begin non-stop flights from Kuala Lumpur to South Korea's capital Seoul.
The long-haul associate of Malaysia's AirAsia will next start negotiations with the South Korean government on the slots and frequency, says AirAsia X CEO Azran Rani-Osman. The carrier hopes to confirm a start date for the service shortly, he adds.
"We are glad that the Malaysian government has finally agreed to let us fly to Seoul. This will provide some much needed competition on the route," he says.
Malaysia Airlines has six weekly flights and Korean Air seven weekly services on the Kuala Lumpur-Seoul Incheon route, according to Innovata.
Azran says the airline is still working to get permission to begin services to Australia's main gateway Sydney and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The airline is also reportedly eyeing non-stop flights to Tokyo.
"The government has been considering our application to fly to Sydney for a long while. It is sad that many Malaysians are still flying to Sydney via Singapore. We will provide them with overwhelming data that shows that this is a big underserved market, and it will be a huge benefit to the economy if we have the rights," he adds.
Malaysia Airlines offers 12 weekly services on the Kuala Lumpur-Sydney route, according to Innovata.