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New Charter Flights Revive Medical Tourism in Malaysia
27 August 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

This month, Malaysia has expanded its medical tourism provision, with the addition of several new charter flights from AirAsia. The move, initially designed to provide essential medical services to patients from neighbouring Indonesia, bodes well for the wider tourism revival underway in Malaysia, as flight intensity increases and arrivals begin to diversify. 

On 14th August, Malaysia welcomed its first international medical charter flight from AirAsia, arriving in Penang International Airport from the Sumatran city of Medan. The next charter arrived on 24th August, touching down in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia continues to grow its medical tourism business, providing patients and medical tourists from Indonesia with steadily expanding access to medical treatments and health services in Malaysia. 

These initial medical charter services are set to be expanded, with plans to include other Indonesian cities in an end-to-end service provided under the platform. AirAsia CEO Karen Chan has stated the airline’s intentions to connect people to their critical needs amid Covid-19 travel restrictions. 

“These are stressful times for families with members suffering from chronic illnesses that require specialised medical treatments,” explains Chan. “AirAsia is working closely with medical institutions and government authorities to ensure inbound patients have a seamless travelling experience from Indonesia to Malaysia,” she added. 

According to AirAsia’s CEO, the carrier is working closely with government officials and strategic partners, including Malaysia Healthcare Travel and Island Hospital in Penang.  

As AirAsia and Malaysia work together to find cross-border solutions for patients during Covid-19, the increased availability and frequency of flights in the air provides hope for a wider revival in tourism infrastructure just around the corner.