|MIRI (Jan 16): AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and Firefly will provide 71 additional flights per day to Sarawak between Jan 18 and 21 to allow Sarawakians to return home in time for Chinese New Year, said Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin.
The Transport Minister said this would cater to the high demand for flights due to the festival.
“It is hoped that with the additional flights into Sarawak, those working in other parts of the country and neighbouring countries will be able to travel home in time to celebrate the festival with their families,” Lee said when officiating at the Miri GongXi Bazaar last night (Jan 15).
He said for Kuching there will be 23 additional flights – six AirAsia flights per day from Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur respectively; seven Malaysia Airlines flights from Kuala Lumpur and one from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; and three Firefly flights from Penang to Kuching.
For Miri, AirAsia will provide 17 additional flights per day – three from Johor Bahru and 11 from Kota Kinabalu.
Air Asia will also have 10 additional flights from Kuala Lumpur and four from Johor Bahru to Sibu, Malaysia Airlines will have an additional nine flights from Kuala Lumpur to the town.
There will also be nine additional AirAsia flights per day from Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu.
Lee added Royal Brunei Airlines has also sought approval for bigger aircraft due to an increase in passenger load.
“In view of this need, I have called on the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to expedite approval for the use of bigger aircraft between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuching,” he said.
The Senadin assemblyman also congratulated the Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) for the successful organisation of the Miri Gongxi Bazaar.
“The bazaar is now in its 19th year and I have been here witnessing this event every year. Indeed, the bazaar has the potential to attract a great number of visitors, both domestic and international.
“With a total 327 food stalls, it is expected to draw in tens of thousands of visitors every night,” he said.
As one of Miri’s main tourism events, he said efforts could be made to decorate the bazaar’s surroundings by emulating Singapore’s famous Orchard Road.
In the Year of the Rabbit, Lee said Miri would progress towards better development, with more economic activities expected, especially for oil and gas.
“Shell Malaysia will be moving its headquarters and operations to Miri by the end of this year, and Petros will start new exploration in Miri this year too. Thus, we anticipate a good year ahead for Miri,” he said.
Among those present at the launching ceremony were Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Deputy Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting; Miri MP Chiew Choon Man, Miri Resident, MCCCI chairman Ling Chiong Sing, as well as Miri Gongxi Bazaar chairman and MCCCI deputy chairman Vincent Lu.
| The Borneo Post