Earlier on Monday, Singapore Prime Minister announced that the Malaysia-Singapore border will be reopening starting from 29 November 2021. As the reopening would benefit the country’s manufacturing landscape, BERNAMA reported that the Penang state government hopes the Federal Government will also include Penang International Airport (PIA) in the Vaccination Travel Lane (VTL).
According to a statement by state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, the inclusion of Penang airport in the VTL would be a strong anchor to attract more air traffic from Singapore.
He said the inclusion will be a booster for Malaysia’s economy, especially for Penang, Kedah, Perlis, and Perak.
As a manufacturing hub boasting the label as the Silicon Valley of the East, introducing VTL in PIA will also see benefits to our manufacturing landscape that comprises an arsenal of multinational companies.State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin
Before the pandemic, the international air route between Changi International Airport and PIA recorded 107 flights weekly in November 2019. Therefore, he believes it is a commendable figure that Putrajaya must take into consideration.
Yeoh said launching Malaysia-Singapore VTL in Kuala Lumpur and Penang concurrently could double the pace of economic recovery. On top of that, it would help to reboot the battered industries. He stressed that it could particularly benefit the services sector which comprises food and beverage, hotels and tourism operators.
Putting PIA in the VTL list will benefit Penang as well as other neighbouring states, which are all dependent on PIA as the only international airport for traffic and business opportunities.State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin
Commenting on public safety and industry preparedness, Yeoh noted that Penang had achieved a 99% vaccination rate for its adult population. Moreover, the total population being vaccinated is at 83.1% as of 9 November 2021.