Flight Review – AirAsia AK6285: Melaka to Penang by Airbus A320-200

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AirAsia AK6285 is a new daily flight launched on 1 July 2019, plying the Melaka – Penang domestic flight route, marking a new domestic destination for AirAsia at Malacca International Airport. As I’ve not tried using Malacca International Airport before, I decided to get on one of the first flights to experience flying out of Melaka.

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The namesake of Malacca International Airport above the driveway.

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The advertisement panel along the driveway of AirAsia’s new daily flights between Melaka and Penang.

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The departure driveway of Malacca International Airport.

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The departure driveway is just before the arrival driveway of this small airport.

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The interior of the departure and arrival halls of Malacca International Airport.

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AirAsia has self check-in kiosks in the departure hall.

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Getting my boarding pass printed.

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My boarding pass for my AirAsia AK6285 flight from Melaka to Penang.

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Flight information can be seen at the information counter in the centre of the terminal.

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My AirAsia AK6285 flight from Melaka to Penang at 2.50pm is the last flight of the day from Malacca International Airport.

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The arrival screen showing the simultaneous arrivals of OD311 from Pekanbaru and AK6284 from Penang. That’s interesting.

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The manned check-in desks at Malacca International Airport, with security screening done before check-in. AirAsia only uses this for bag drop.

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AirAsia takes two counters for their bag drop.

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Heading for security screening.

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After security screening, the very short path leads straight to the gate hold room.

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The single gate hold room for domestic passengers.

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The queue for AirAsia boarding zones.

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As the Airbus A320 seems a little bit too big for the airport, the international gate hold room was also opened to cater to the big crowd on the Airbus A320.

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The empty international gate hold room. Hmm, I wonder why people are not using this instead and cramming themselves in the domestic gate hold room.

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Here comes Malindo OD311 approaching Malacca International Airport from Pekanbaru.

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And here comes AirAsia AK6284 from Penang, which will form my flight to Penang shortly.

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As this is a really small airport, the aircraft had to u-turn on the runway, head back the length of it to use the single taxiway linking the runway and the apron.

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Turning into the stand.

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AirAsia provides two sets of stairs for faster disembarkation and boarding.

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Connecting the front stairs first.

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The second set was brought in as passengers started to disembark from the front.

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Queuing up to get ready to board my AirAsia AK6285 flight.

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Getting my boarding pass checked and torn by the ground staff.

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Following the red sign to the plane.

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Walking right up to the tarmac from the terminal building.

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Passengers must follow the designated zebra crossing to get to the plane.

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The AirAsia Airbus A320-200 which looks like a giant in Malacca International Airport.

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Crossing the road to the apron.

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9M-AGC would be taking me on my first flight on this new route from Melaka to Penang today. This is the same plane which coincidentally brought me on my first AirAsia AK6173 Alor Setar to Johor Bahru flight.

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As my seat was towards the rear of the aircraft, I boarded by the rear stairs.

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Heading up the stairs.

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The view of AirAsia’s Airbus A320-200 from the rear stairs.

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The interior of AirAsia’s Airbus A320-200 from the rear of the aircraft.

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My window seat for this trip.

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The legroom available on this AirAsia Airbus A320-200.

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Free ROKKI Wi-Fi is available on this aircraft.

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The view of the apron from my seat.

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The view of the aircraft from my seat.

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As the Airbus A320 was so huge, it could not make a u-turn on the apron like all other planes that use Malacca International Airport, so it had to be pushed out of the stand.

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Taking the only taxiway to the runway.

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Turning onto the runway.

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The plane held short here for a while to let the outgoing Malindo ATR72 proceed away to a safe distance first.

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Looking back at the airport terminal.

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Taking off from Malacca International Airport.

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Goodbye Melaka.

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Flying past Ayer Keroh.

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Flying past Masjid Tanah.

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Flying past Port Dickson with Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson clearly seen from above.

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Flying parallel with Peninsular Malaysia.

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Oh look, it’s a rather familiar airport in the distance.

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Turning a little bit to the right to follow the coast.

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I hope the plane doesn’t suddenly even further right to land there.

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AirAsia’s home base at klia2.

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Flying past KLIA and klia2.

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The KLIA and klia2 airfield from the side.

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Around KLIA and klia2, my meal was served. I ordered two meals for this flight as it would be a late lunch for me – the new Chef Hong Thaimee’s INSPI(RED) Burger for RM10.60 (~S$3.51) and TEC Sandwich (Turkey, Egg & Cheese) for RM6.36 (~S$2.11).

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The Chef Hong Thaimee’s INSPI(RED) Burger was really red. It also tasted really Thai like a Sai Ua or Chiang Mai sausage for the patty, and a nice green chilli sauce. The actual burger looks exactly like how it is being advertised. Fast food restaurants, please learn from AirAsia.

In collaboration with (RED), 10% of all INSPI(RED) Burger sales will go to the Global Fund to help (RED) fight HIV/AIDS in ASEAN.

Here’s the ad for the Chef Hong Thaimee’s INSPI(RED) Burger.

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And here’s the TEC Sandwich (Turkey, Egg & Cheese). Tasted pretty good for a simple sandwich, exactly how I imagined it to be. This would be good for flights of less than 30 minutes.

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Flying past Sungai Sangga off Taiping.

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Flying past Nibong Tebal.

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Flying past Kulim.

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Flying past Tasek Gelugor when looping back to Penang.

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Flying past RMAF Butterworth.

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Flying past Bagan Ajam Toll on the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR).

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Flying past North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) where the rails after Butterworth truly end.

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Hello, Penang Island and Georgetown.

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Georgetown from above.

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Flying past Weld Quay.

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Approaching Penang International Airport with a fantastic view of Georgetown.

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KOMTAR from above.

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Georgetown from out of my window.

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Flying over the Penang Bridge.

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Flying really close to Queensbay Mall.

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Approaching the runway with a China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F getting ready to depart.

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Touched down in Penang at 3.58pm – 2 minutes early.

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Braking with the view of the airport terminal already. This is going to be a pretty quick taxi then.

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More AirAsia planes at the terminal.

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Taxiing to the terminal.

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A rather straight taxi in, and I’m at the gate.

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A My Jet Xpress Airlines (formerly Neptune Air) Boeing 737-300F parked on a stand beside.

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Disembarking from the rear door.

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Heading down the stairs.

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Refuelling was done immediately owing to AirAsia’s tight turnaround times.

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Walking to the terminal freely on the apron.

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Looking back at the rear exit.

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Walking (almost) under 9M-AGC’s left wing.

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Heading to the ramp up to the terminal.

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Heading into the ramp well.

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Umbrellas are on standby in case of wet weather.

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Walking up the ramp to the terminal.

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Entering the terminal.

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The next wave of passengers for Langkawi prepare to board the aircraft for the short island hop.

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Heading down to the arrival hall.

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After the baggage reclaim area, I was out in the public area of Penang International Airport.

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Heading out of the airport to the driveway.

Overall, another excellent fuss-free flight with AirAsia, with delicious new meals on this new route. If it’s a weekday, it could possibly be a new cheap way to get from Singapore to Penang via a bus to Melaka, but on weekends, this might not be possible with the traffic jams out of Singapore and into Melaka.

Nevertheless, this single flight has made Melaka International Airport a hive of activity, even maxing out its domestic departure capacity to warrant both international and domestic departure gate hold rooms to be opened for the mega Airbus A320, and with the high demand for this flight, I hope AirAsia will open more routes from Melaka soon to take a little bit of congestion out of klia2 and benefit southern passengers.

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