SEPANG: Tourism Malaysia is confident the target of attracting over five million tourists from China can be achieved this year, supported by the frequency of flights from China to Malaysia.

Its director-general P. Manoharan said that last year Malaysia received a total of 1.47 million tourists from China.

“We are positive about reaching over five million tourists from China because the current flight frequency is more than 247 flights weekly, and in terms of seat capacity, there are almost 4.9 million seats available from China to Kuala Lumpur.

“Flight frequencies will increase, and new routes as well, so we are positive about reaching this target,” he told reporters after attending the event to celebrate the new route of Sichuan Airlines and China Southern Airlines to Kuala Lumpur here last Sunday night.

The Sichuan Airlines flight from Chengdu and the China Southern Airlines flight from Shenzhen landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 1 at 10pm Sunday and 12.30am yesterday, respectively, Bernama reported.

Manoharan said that airlines from China have also shown interest in establishing direct flights to other major cities in Malaysia such as Penang, Johor Baru and Kuching.

“Sichuan Airlines is planning to operate flights (from China) to Kuching. We welcome airlines from China to operate direct flights to Kuala Lumpur, in addition to charter flights.

“This is also in line with the ministry’s goal to further increase direct flights in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2026,” he said, adding that Tourism Malaysia will collaborate with airlines and tourism operators in Malaysia and China to increase flight frequencies to the country.