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Mon 1 Jan 2007 04:00 AM

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Etihad tips Malaysia to overtake Thailand

Etihad Holidays has tipped Malaysia to rank in its top three best-selling destinations now Etihad Airways, operates six flights weekly from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur.

Etihad Holidays has tipped Malaysia to rank in its top three best-selling destinations now Etihad Airways, operates six flights weekly from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur.

And to help achieve this goal, the operator has introduced a 12-page Malaysia supplement in addition to its winter brochure, providing extra holiday, touring and accommodation options.

“Malaysia was already our 10th best selling destination when we didn’t even fly there, so now I think it will become one of our top sellers,” said Nick Wood, general manager, Etihad Holidays.

He suggested that if Etihad Airways was to up its frequencies to KL, the destination could even knock Thailand off the number one top spot in the league table.

“Malaysia is the same flying time as Thailand, but whereas only certain areas of Thailand are focused on the Arabic community, Malaysia is a Muslim country, so Halal food is widely available and there are mosques of course,” he added.

Wood also highlighted Kuala Lumpur’s reputation for wellness and cosmetic surgery clinics, as well as its established shopping scene, all of which are key draw cards for the GCC nationals.

“Whereas the ex-pat market tends to head for the beach – in Langkawi or Penang,” he said.

Etihad operates a threeclass aircraft to Kuala Lumpur, which it serves every day except Saturday.

This compares to the twoclass aircraft operating the double daily to Bangkok.

Package prices are “very competitive”, Wood claimed, with three nights at the 3.5-star Royal Bintang Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, including return Coral Zone flights, starting at AED1695 (US $462) on a room-only basis and excluding taxes. Upgrades to Pearl and Diamond one-way are AED 845 ($230) and AED 2720 ($741) respectively.

Etihad Holidays has also launched its second ski brochure, expanding capacity at all the resorts it features.

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