JOHOR BARU - The Senai International Airport, 28km from here, recorded more than two million passengers over the first 11 months of this year, making it one of the busiest entry points in Johor.
State Tourism, Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said this reflected a positive growth that would elevate Johor further as a major tourist destination and southern gateway into peninsular Malaysia.
The other major entry points in the state are the Causeway and Second Link as well as the 11 ferry terminals along its coasts.
Tee said the 2.05 million passengers who used the airport between January and November, either as an arrival or departure point, was an increase of 17 per cent over the number recorded within the same period last year.
"Local passengers formed the bulk of airport users, numbering 1.83 million. But, there is a steady growth of 54 per cent in the number of foreign travellers; increasing to more than 176,600 from about 114,800 in 2013.
"With the weaker ringgit since early this month, the state government expects the number of foreign passengers coming into Johor via the airport to continue growing throughout December," Tee said after launching the inaugural flight of Lunamaya Air, which provides direct flights to Pulau Tioman, at the Senai Business Aviation Terminal yesterday.
Also present was Tunamaya Beach and Spa Resort director Gan Hong Lee, who provided details of a RM2,188 (S$828) package deal that provides a three-day-two-night stay at the resort on the island.
Tunamaya Air will have four daily flights connecting the airport and the holiday island to the island on the eight-seater Cessna Grand Caravan.
"We are providing an exclusive lifestyle for our guests," he said, adding that they are targeting Singaporeans and expatriates looking for a "dream vacation" at a reasonable price.
Gan said the flight of 45 minutes beat the travel time by road and ferry to the island that usually takes four to five hours from here.