KUCHING (Nov 28): The availability of Sarawak’s very own airline will enable the state to secure more direct flights from neighbouring countries into Sarawak, said John Teo.
The Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Sarawak Chapter chairman said the proposed boutique airline would provide an alternative and cheaper option for tourists to visit Sarawak.
“MAH had briefed the Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg on higher airfares particularly during the festive seasons and before the 15th General Election.
“We were informed on this proposed boutique airline, which will be operating under Hornbill Skyways, by the Premier and it would offer better and lower rates compared to other airlines,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted for comments on Abang Johari’s statement that the airline would not be profit-motivated and would serve to facilitate tourist arrivals into the state.
The Premier at an event on Sunday night said the proposed airline would fly visitors to Sarawak from countries such as Hong Kong, Bali in Indonesia, Singapore, Bangkok (Thailand), Japan and India.
“As the boutique airline is owned by Sarawak, we will have our own model to set up the airline without following the models used by Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia,” he said.
Previously, Abang Johari said the airline was awaiting licence approval from the Ministry of Transport and was expected to operate within the next three months.
On a related matter, Teo, who is also Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Board of Directors member, hoped that the state would be able to get the licence for the airline approved by the federal Ministry of Transport soon.
“Once the airline has been given the green light, we are hoping to bring in more tourists to Sarawak,” he said.
He also hoped that the state government would look into increasing more direct flights to Miri.
“At present, apart from domestic flights as well as the direct flight from Singapore, foreign tourists could also make use of Brunei International Airport and the Brunei-Miri border to visit Miri.
“We hope that the newly appointed federal Transport Minister could look into upgrading Miri Airport into an international airport so that we can expand the airport and have more planes land in Miri.
The Borneo Post