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Malaysia introduces first amphibian airplane service to enhance travel to Perhentian Islands

written by Newsdesk | February 21, 2024

Malaysia introduces first amphibian airplane service to enhance travel to Perhentian Islands

Textron Aviation has recently announced the delivery of a cutting-edge Cessna Grand Caravan EX Amphibian turboprop to Ikhasas Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian property developer. The aircraft, delivered through Ikhasas’ subsidiary Oriental Sky Sdn Bhd, will be managed and operated by local charter operator Systematic Aviation Services (SAS) and is intended to serve passengers traveling between Kuala Lumpur and a new waterfront resort on the Perhentian Islands. This development marks the reintroduction of amphibious airplane operations in Malaysia, a significant milestone since it had obtained the necessary approvals for domestic operations set to begin in 2024. The amphibious plane is designed to offer a more efficient and environment-friendly means of transportation to the resort destinations.

Ikhasas group managing director, Ir. Tan Chee Kian, highlighted the benefits of the amphibious service, stating, “Seaplanes will be the most convenient way to reach the Perhentian Islands.” He elaborated on the current travel challenges, noting the lengthy six-hour road journey coupled with a one-hour ferry ride required from the port in Kuala Besut. “With our 11-seater aircraft, travelers will benefit from time savings as it will transport passengers from Kuala Lumpur to land directly in the waters near the beachside resort,” he added. Ikhasas aims not only to shorten travel times but also to preserve the natural beauty of the islands by eliminating the need for airport construction.

Tony Jones, vice president of International Sales (Asia-Pacific) at Textron Aviation, expressed pride in the selection of the Grand Caravan EX Amphibian for this unique application. “The versatility and excellent operating economics make it the perfect partner for Ikhasas to develop sustainable tourism,” Jones commented. He also highlighted the aircraft’s features such as the comfortable cabin, large windows for sightseeing, and the capability of taking off and landing on water, making it ideally suited for the intended transportation services. The introduction of this service underscores Malaysia’s importance as a market for Textron Aviation, where its products already constitute a significant portion of the country’s general aviation aircraft for various operations.


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