Malindo Air launched services from Kuala Lumpur to Sapporo Chitose on 23 March, a route which will operate via Taipei Taoyuan, with the carrier having traffic rights between the Taiwanese and Japanese airports. To commemorate the route opening, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Sapporo Chitose. Among those taking part in the cutting was Mark Anthony Nathan, GM, Malindo Air (fourth left). AirAsia X already flies non-stop to Sapporo Chitose from Kuala Lumpur, while Malindo Air becomes the fifth operator to serve the airport pair of Taipei Taoyuan and Sapporo Chitose.
- Malindo Air launched its first operations to Japan on 23 March, with the carrier inaugurating a three times weekly service to Sapporo Chitose (CTS). It will operate services on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from Kuala Lumpur (KUL), with the route operating via Taipei Taoyuan (TPE), a destination which the carrier already serves daily from Kuala Lumpur. It should be noted that the carrier does have traffic rights between Taipei Taoyuan and Sapporo Chitose, confirmed with the airline selling the service as a non-stop option on its website. The 5,950-kilometre airport pair of Kuala Lumpur and Sapporo Chitose is already served non-stop by AirAsia X, with the LCC offering a four times weekly service using its fleet of A330-300s. The 2,712-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan is also served, with EVA Airways (twice-daily), China Airlines (daily), Scoot (four times weekly; has traffic rights on the route) and Peach Aviation (three times weekly) already offering a robust schedule between the two airports. Malindo Air will operate the Kuala Lumpur – Taipei Taoyuan – Sapporo Chitose – Taipei Taoyuan – Kuala Lumpur routing using its fleet of 737-800s.