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AirAsia to resume Singapore-Malaysia flights on 'green lane' scheme

STARTING the week of Aug 17, low-cost carrier AirAsia will launch daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as well as one weekly flight each between Singapore and Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Ipoh.

These will be subject to further announcements by the Singapore and Malaysia governments, and come as the airline is gearing up for the resumption of flights between the two countries, AirAsia said in a press statement on Monday.

Over the weekend, both countries' governments announced they will open up cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes through the Reciprocal Green Lane starting Aug 17.

The "green lane" scheme will allow for short-term essential business and official travel between both countries for up to 14 days, and covers air and land links. Companies in Singapore have welcomed the news, although some were concerned about the costs adding up for employers.

Passengers can expect enhanced safety measures throughout the journey, including during the pre-flight, in-flight and arrival processes, AirAsia said.

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The airline will also soon allow guests to upload their Covid-19 test results during check-in using the AirAsia mobile app and website, "to ensure guests can plan their travel with peace of mind".

The budget carrier plans to later resume routes to other international destinations, subject to approval from the authorities.

"We look forward to the formation of more 'travel bubbles' and 'green lanes' between countries with low infection rates or active cases, and proven pandemic-curbing systems," said Tony Fernandes, AirAsia group chief executive officer.

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB last Friday dropped its target price on AirAsia's long-haul subsidiary, AirAsia X (AAX), to zero, from RM0.07 previously, with a "reduce" call. Analyst Raymond Yap wrote that there is a "low probability of survival" for AAX, with the worst yet to come, after the long-haul carrier posted dismal first-quarter results and amid fears that it will fail to secure much-needed funding.

Shares of AirAsia on the Malaysia bourse fell 0.5 sen or 0.8 per cent to 60 sen as at 12.10pm on Tuesday, while AAX was trading flat at 5.5 sen.

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